Our History - CHI Health, Nebraska (NE) - Southwest Iowa (IA)

CHI Health carries on the faith traditions of our founders: The Sisters of Mercy, the Immanuel Lutheran communities, and the Jesuits of Creighton University. Each brought a distinct way of practicing the Christian faith, but all shared a calling and passion for serving those most in need in our community through compassionate care and excellence in medicine.

In 2012, Catholic Health Initiatives accepted full sponsorship of CHI Health bringing the together 15 acute care hospitals, 4 behavioral health facilities, 2 specialty hospitals, over 120 clinics, and multiple health services across the Nebraska and Iowa region to carry on this healing ministry.

Our Founders

The deep faith tradition of the Sisters of St. Francis, the Sisters of Mercy , the Lutheran Deaconesses and the Jesuits have built our enduring foundation.

Sisters of Mercy

Sister Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin Ireland in 1831. Devoted to serving the poor, sick and those in need of education; Catherine’s legacy lives on today in communities of Mercy across the world. We celebrate this tradition of compassionate service in our community as we pay tribute to the Mercy influence in healthcare. Starting with the founding of St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital, and continuing with St. Catherine’s Hospital, Bergan Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Hospitals in Council Bluffs and Corning Iowa, the Mercy ministry lives on in our midst today.

The Franciscans

The Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration was founded by Blessed Marie Theresia Bonzel in Olpe, Germany, in 1863. The vision and charisma of Saints Francis and Clare so inspired Maria Theresia that she founded her new community as a Third Order Franciscan Congregation. The sisters stood in solidarity with the poor, powerless, and outcast, like Jesus, embracing the Gospel as their rule of life. They founded Saint Elizabeth in Lincoln, St. Francis in Grand Island, and Good Samaritan in Kearney. They also served as sponsors for St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Omaha (CUMC) from 1880 - 1971, as well as St. Mary’s Community Hospital in Nebraska City.

Immanuel

In 1887, Pastor Fogelstrom and five Deaconesses created a ministry which emphasized works of mercy and provided programs and services that served the sick, elderly and orphaned. Immanuel Medical Center has faithfully served the healing ministry of Christ through providing leadership in behavioral health since its founding and proactively identifying and providing care for unmet needs over time. That rich heritage will endure and serve an ever changing ministry.