Family walking in a golden field

Rural Health Services

Our commitment to rural health care.

Rural Health Services

Rural health care is an essential and challenging service to provide to your community. Yet, you do it with passion and excellence. At CHI Health, it is our goal to support rural health care organizations and providers to help you uphold high quality, highly accessible, locally driven health care. CHI Health works diligently to support the needs of 35 critical access hospitals across 3 states.

Map of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota showing CHI Health critical access hospital network

Through our Critical Access Hospital Networks, CHI Health can provide support in a number of areas, including quality, safety, education, business operations and more. A full list of established services is detailed below.

Quality & Safety

  • Quality Reviews / Audits
  • Quality Data Analysis and Support (including dashboard development)
  • External Peer Review Support
  • Internal Peer Review and Scorecard Support
  • Performance Improvement Support
  • Mock Surveys
  • Policy and Procedure Support and Resources
  • Quality Task Force Meetings


  • Ethics Support and Education
  • Emergent and General OB Education
  • Stroke Care and Protocols
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Peer-to-Peer Networking
  • Patient Education Material and resources
  • Pharmacy, Nursing, and Finance Leader Affinity Groups
  • Burn and Wound Education
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship

Operational Support

  • Credentialing and Peer Review Audits
  • Patient Transfer Reviews
  • Human Resource Support
  • Financial/Revenue Cycle Support
  • Marketing and Strategy Support
  • Regulatory and Compliance Consultation

The CHI Health Rural Services team has extensive experience in critical areas of expertise to support our network members across multiple disciplines. In addition to these resources, we can also connect you with content experts within our system, ensuring you have access to the answers and support you need.

Scott Cook

Scott Cook, MHA

Division Director – Network Development
(402) 343-4337

Scott leads our regional network development efforts, focusing on how we can connect with and support rural hospitals and providers by creating solutions or leveraging the resources of the CHI Health system. Scott has been in health care administration in critical access hospitals and in health systems over his career, as well as a consultant, giving him great insight on how to leverage a system to support and partner with rural hospital and providers.

Scott has consistently shown a passion for supporting rural health care organizations, as he previously served as Interim CEO at Thayer County Health Services, Sr. Projects Coordinator at the Office of Statewide Education Programs (OSCEP) at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and as an EMT at Ringgold County Hospital in Iowa. In addition to this experience, he holds a B.A. in Health Sciences and a Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of Iowa.

Nikki Clement

Nikki Clement, MSN

Network Coordinator
(308) 865-7465

Nikki earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from North Dakota’s Dickinson State in 1994. She built the foundation of her nursing career at a rural critical access hospital in North Dakota which proved to be a wealth of hands-on experience and education. 

A member of the Good Samaritan team since 2002, Nikki has served in bedside roles in obstetrics, orthopedics, and post-acute care, and was also an adjunct nursing instructor. In 2016, she became the network coordinator for Good Samaritan’s critical access hospital network. Quality has long been a special focus of Nikki’s work. She has served as both chair and vice chair of Good Samaritan’s Quality Committee and was honored with Good Samaritan’s Nursing Excellence Award for Quality Excellence in 2014. In 2017, she earned a Master of Nursing degree with a specialization in nursing education from Aspen University.

Nikki Clement, through her role as the Network Coordinator for the Good Samaritan Network, champions quality and safety support in the network, in addition to providing support for FLEX grant management; annual reviews; mock surveys; policy and procedure support; and other educational and meeting coordination for the CAH’s that are in the Good Samaritan Network.

Hilary Van Housen

Hilary Van Housen

Network Development Consultant
(308) 865-7494

Hilary received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a minor in Marketing from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. For 7 years, she was a pharmaceutical representative, focusing on the rural Nebraska market. She joined CHI Health in August of 2017. In her current role, Hilary works to grow and improve relationships, both formal and informal, with rural hospitals and providers in the Central and Western areas in Nebraska and also Northern Kansas. Hilary actively works with leadership and staff within the Kearney market, as well as the CHI Health system level, to develop and deploy our resources to help support rural health care.

Sarah Thornburg

Sarah Thornburg, BSN, RN

Network Coordinator
(402) 960-2706

Sarah received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  She has worked in a variety of settings in critical access, spending 7 years at CHI Health Plainview with the last four in quality, safety and risk management.  She received the Positive Image of Nursing award in 2019 and saw CHI Health Plainview awarded the Top 20 Critical Access Hospital in Quality multiple years.

As Network Coordinator, Sarah provides support in quality and safety, FLEX grant management, annual reviews, mock surveys, policy and procedure support, and education and meeting coordination for the CAHs in the Omaha and CAH Link Networks.

CHI Health Partners

CHI Health Partners is a regional leader in clinical integration and value based contracting. We have earned nearly $11 million over the last three years from shared savings and risk bonuses. CHI Health Partners brings 20 years of experience as a non-exclusive, affordable network. We currently have value-based contracts with BlueCross Blue Shield of Nebraska, Aetna, and Medica which welcome CAH and rural provider participation.

  • Payor and Medical Staff Credentialing
  • Claims Issue Resolution
  • Care Management Training/Resources
  • Value-Based Contracting, including PMPM payments to support a facilities investment in care coordination efforts
  • Provider Education and Outreach
  • Patient Centered Medical Neighborhood - Services, including access to discharge transition support, pharmacy assistance, dietitians, and social work
  • Shared best practices in achieving the triple aim of Better Health, Better Care, and Lower Costs
  • Local chapter leadership in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, and Kearney
  • Non-exclusive, low cost option

Direct Partnerships

CHI Health has multiple partnerships in place with rural healthcare organizations, including the following examples:

  • Physician/Specialist Outreach
  • Contracted Hospital Management
  • A La Carte Management Services
  • Joint Ventures 

Virtual Health Services

Every month it seems as though there are new approaches and innovations in virtual healthcare. That is no different at CHI Health, where we’re continuing to build programs in a number of areas. Below is a list that encompasses the majority of the virtual care offerings we have active today or in active development, and this list is continuously evolving.

  • TeleHospitalists
  • TeleCardiology
  • TelePharmacy – IV Med Verification & Specialty Medications
  • TelePsychiatry
  • TeleRheumatology