Celebration of Caregivers

The Celebration of Caregivers Gala at CenturyLink was held on Nov. 18, and paid tribute to the legacy of Sister Norita Cooney, who served as a past president and CEO of Bergan Mercy. It was a special evening, honoring a true inspiration and visionary leader. Thank you to everyone who made the evening a rousing success.  If you were unable to attend and would like to make a donation to this worthy cause, please visit our donation form at Give.CHIhealth.com/Gala-Donations.

Born in Grand Island, Sister Norita Cooney put the heart in “Heartland.” She was a humble, kind, and caring person who as a leader in health care, served as a strong advocate for patients. She believed, and taught others in the organization, that we must give people hope as we heal. It was a belief she practiced on and off the job. Sister Norita spent her free time volunteering with teen moms and singing in a gospel choir. Her love for people was genuine and served us well as she led the Board of Directors of then Alegent Health when it first came together in 1995 - one of several leadership roles she held in our organization.

The celebration also honored those who work in, and were foundational to the creation of, the new Creighton University Medical Center - Bergan Mercy. The academic medical center is home to a unique model of education, training, healing, and caring, and it is a point of pride for the region.

Looking to the future, the evening recognized the contributions of researchers whose work is invaluable. CURE (Creighton University Research Exchange) was unveiled, which is a new not-for-profit partnership between CHI Health and Creighton University, whose sole mission is to support research conducted within CHI Health.  This partnership will provide an infrastructure to support participation in research conducted by students, residents, and physicians here in Omaha.

We are thrilled about this opportunity to support local physicians, learners, and staff in clinical research efforts. The funds raised will remain local to make an impact for our patients and will be in a restricted endowed fund within the CHI Health Foundation with a distribution annually to fund seed grants.