Dr. Roger Jay Pentzien Returns to Omaha as Medical Director of Lasting Hope Recovery Center
Release Date: 01/24/2008

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OMAHA, Neb.—The Lasting Hope Recovery Center—which opens on April 8, 2008, brings together two passions for the newly elected Medical Director Roger Jay Pentzien, M.D. It gives him the opportunity to work in the field he loves—psychiatry—in a place he loves—Omaha.

“I grew up here, went to medical school here and now, after serving my country in the Navy, I’m proud to make my home back in Omaha,” said Dr. Pentzien.

In his new role, Dr. Pentzien will be responsible for all medical and clinical aspects of the new behavioral health center, which is dedicated to serving the needs of families and communities in the Omaha area. Dr. Pentzien will lead performance improvement initiatives and work closely with physicians and health care team members to ensure that patients at the center are receiving the highest quality of care. He will also play a critical role in education and outreach, both to the general public and the medical community in the region.

The Lasting Hope Recovery Center, which will be operated by Alegent Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center, is the result of a public-private partnership for people suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. The 64-bed facility is located in mid-town Omaha and will provide a continuum of care ranging from crisis assessment and inpatient treatment to subacute services, counseling and therapy. The Lasting Hope Recovery Center is being made possible through generous gifts from philanthropists to a new non-profit foundation co-founded by local community leaders Ken Stinson and Rhonda and Howard Hawks. The state of Nebraska is providing critical funding for operations and Alegent Health and The Nebraska Medical Center will provide additional financial support for facility operations.

A native of Omaha, Neb. Dr. Pentzien is board certified in Psychiatry and is a retired Captain with the United States Navy. Dr. Pentzien has more than 30 years of experience in general psychiatry including many different clinical and administrative roles at the community, university, military (Department of Defense) and federal (congressional and Department of Veterans Affairs) level. He most recently served as the attending neuropsychiatrist for a 22-bed Medical-Psychiatry Unit at the Louisville, Ky. VA Medical Center. During that time, he held an academic appointment as Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences with the University of Louisville School of Medicine under the Chairmanship of Dr. Alan Tasman, Past President of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Pentzien was also consultant to the Brigade and Behavioral Health Department, Ireland Army Community Hospital, Fort Knox, Ky., supporting The Wounded Warrior Project.

Dr. Pentzien received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and College of Medicine in 1974, and completed his family medicine internship at the Naval Regional Medical Center, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; thereafter, completing his general psychiatry training at the University of California School of Medicine-Affiliated Programs in San Francisco. He completed further postgraduate education and training at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif. in behavioral neurology and the George Washington University, Washington, DC where he maintains affiliation as a Life Member of the Interagency Institute of Federal Healthcare Executives with certification in Advanced Healthcare Administration.

A distinct highlight of Dr. Pentzien’s career came during the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991), when he commanded the hospital ship USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20), a 1,000-bed facility, which was deployed for 10-months in direct combat support. Upon return, his command received the prestigious Navy “E” and Dr. Pentzien was awarded the Legion of Merit by President George H.W. Bush. Dr. Pentzien is currently a consultant to The Office of the Physician to the United States Congress, and he is past Director for Medical Services at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.