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‘Writing the next chapter’: CUMC readies for move to Bergan Mercy

After two days of remembering, saying goodbye and storytelling, the next episode of CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center’s long history is ready to unfold.

Tuesday, May 23, the staffs of both CUMC and CHI Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center, along with faculty and administration from the Creighton School of Medicine, came together to ceremonially open their joint enterprise at Bergan Mercy, a day after CUMC’s 30th and California streets campus took a moment to bid farewell to the former facility, slated to close in early June.

“We talk about a chapter closing, but it’s also a chapter opening,” said Kevin Nokels, president of CHI Health CUMC-Bergan Mercy. “We heard a little about a building, but more than that, we heard about the people. We welcome you on this journey at the new Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy. We are writing the next chapter.”

As the CUMC shift to Bergan Mercy continues, staff and faculty noted it’s a venture a long time in the making and one that makes sense for pooling the two institutions’ sterling clinical and academic credentials.

“It’s a great opportunity for our students,” said Joann Porter, MD’92, associate dean for graduate medical education and professor in the School of Medicine. “There is more space to conduct academic work, we will have more people who are online with our mission. In the end, it’s an address change. The family is still intact. Our students and our residents bring such passion and knowledge, they inspire us all.”

The combined mission was also reflected in the intermingling connections many on both the Creighton and Bergan sides have with the new address at 7500 Mercy Road — babies born, pain relieved, procedures successful.

The Rev. James Clifton, SJ, associate dean for mission with the School of Medicine and a member of the CHI Health Board of Directors, told the assembly of his birth at St. Catherine’s Hospital, the original Sisters of Mercy facility in South Omaha that ultimately grew into Bergan Mercy.

“We stand in the lineage of the Sisters of Mercy here and we’ve never forgotten that,” Fr. Clifton said. “This is a mission inspired by God’s own mercy, of love inspired by and occasioned by people in need. It’s a little glimpse of heaven on earth.”

Following the sister ceremonies on May 22 and 23, CUMC and Bergan Mercy continue to ready themselves for the transition. Some CUMC operations have already or will soon shift to the new CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center-University Campus, an 83,000-square-foot facility at 24th and Cuming streets.

The CUMC building at 30th and California streets was sold last year to Omaha-based NuStyle Development Corp., which plans to redevelop the existing building, adding residential apartment housing and retail space.

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