Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed September 2006)

Chief administrator: Kathy Bauer, Manager, Facilities Planning, (402) 552-3465

Firms: Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc., (314) 421-2000; Leo A Daly, (402) 391-8111

Design team: Don Lemonds, AIA, ACHA, Project Manager; Paul Strohm, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP, Principal-in-Charge; Kerry Cheung, AIA, Medical Planner (Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc.); John Andrews, Project Director; Jeff Monzu, Project Manager/Designer; Clive Moore, Engineering Coordinator (Leo A Daly)

Photography: Tom Kessler

Illustration: © Leo A Daly

Total building area (sq. ft.): 143,000 (new); 100,000 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $369 (new); $250 (renovation)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $52,700,000 (new); $25,000,000 (renovation)


Nebraska Health System's (NHS) new Center for Clinical Excellence (CCE) consolidates major diagnostic and treatment services into a single location, eliminating duplication of services between University Hospital and Clarkson Hospital.

The four-story, 143,000-sq.-ft. CCE provides connectivity between campuses on three levels. It enhances operating efficiencies and supports advances in patient care, clinical services, and medical training. The CCE houses the most clinically intense hospital functions, consisting of four MRIs and four CT scanners within radiology; a level I trauma center; 28 surgical suites and an interventional radiology department; a 34-bed NICU including two Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) procedure rooms; and an emergency department to accommodate 60,000 annual visits.

The main level emergency department, one of only two level 1 trauma centers in the city of Omaha, consolidates two emergency departments previously belonging to the two hospitals. The consolidated design concept features a large emergency care module with two nurses' stations, allowing the unit to be operated as two separate modules.

The second level of the CCE houses new, larger surgical suites designed to accommodate computer-assisted robotic, laparoscopic surgery and other future generations of advanced technologies.

The third level includes an attractive outdoor garden terrace for patients and families to visit. It also includes a walkway that allows convenient movement between the two hospitals.

The fourth level NICU will accommodate the most critical infants and their families in 34 private suites. The NICU will treat newborns referred to NHS by physicians throughout the region and provide services not available at other area hospitals.

Existing surgical areas, located in adjacent space, were renovated in phases to provide pre- and post-holding space for surgical patients, plus surgical support space, lockers, lounge, storage, office, and conference areas. Existing imaging areas were also renovated to consolidate ultrasound, mammography, nuclear medicine, and general radiographic modalities. The renovated spaces served to physically connect and functionally consolidate the two hospitals.