With roots back to 1869…

…Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital was the first hospital in the State of Nebraska.

The hospital was initially founded as the 6-room Good Samaritan Hospital by a committee of six churchwomen for the alleviation of human suffering, particularly that of children. Early reports from the hospital state that there was never at any time a lack of patients, but very often a lack of means to care for those patients. Because of the early financial struggles, the property and management of the hospital was soon turned over to the direction of Reverend Robert Harper Clarkson, the first Episcopal Bishop of Nebraska.

Bishop Clarkson was described this way: “He regarded it as his task as bishop to go into every town, village, and hamlet, and even to the solitary settler on the public domain, carrying with him the gospel, dispensing the blessings of the sacraments, teaching the doctrines of the Church, ever giving Christian nurture to children, and comfort to the sick and help to the wayward. He never cast off that task.”

The Good Samaritan Hospital, originally at 24th and Webster streets in Omaha, Nebraska, moved to 17th and Dodge in 1880 adjacent to Trinity Cathedral and became The Child’s Hospital and Home. The hospital took on the namesake of Bishop Clarkson following his death and become Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital for Children in 1892.  Later, as adults were admitted, the name was once again modified to Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital.

The institution known today as Clarkson College began as a vision of Bishop and Mrs. Clarkson in the late 1800s. In 1888, Mrs. Melira McPherson Clarkson opened the Bishop Clarkson Memorial School of Nursing as the first nursing school in the State of Nebraska.

With the growth of Omaha and the Midwest, acceptance and trust of healthcare professionals continually stressed the demand for patient care. The physical size and scope of services evolved to meet those needs, and Clarkson Hospital led the way with many medical innovations in both the state and the country.

The hospital moved to 21st and Howard in 1909, to 26th and Dewy in 1936, and to 44th and Dewey in 1955 to be near the campus of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.  Clarkson Hospital and the University Hospital had cooperative ventures, but the Clarkson hospital remained an independent institution.

“The evolution of Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital from a fragile, limited undertaking in 1869 to it its present substantial status occurred in the most productive and inventive era so far experiences in medical care.”

-Henry J Lehnhoff Jr., M.D. (1986)

Nebraska Medicine was first formed by the 1997 merger of Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital and University Hospital which created the Nebraska Health System (NHS). In 2003, the NHS changed its name to The Nebraska Medical Center.  In 2016, The Nebraska Medical Center, Bellevue Medical Center and UNMC Physicians came together to operate under one name: Nebraska Medicine. Today, Nebraska Medicine includes Nebraska Medicine – Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medicine – Bellevue and 40 outpatient clinics, providing patients with access to more than 1,000 physicians and 809-licensed hospital beds in Omaha and Bellevue.  CRHS remains a co-owner of Nebraska Medicine with University of Nebraska.

Over its 150-year history, bringing innovative and exceptional care to patients has been the lifeblood of the Clarkson mission.  The legacy of compassion to patients and dedication to healthcare continues. One of the ways CRHS continues to fulfill its mission is contributing to and investing in entities are communicated to the community and advancement of medicine.


Opening of Omaha’s Good Samaritan Hospital; seven months after its opening, the hospital was transferred to Bishop Clarkson.


Opening of The Child’s Hospital and Home at 17th and Dodge Street.  The annual report in 1882 list 26 patients being treated that year with the average length of stay being 61 days.


Bishop Clarkson Memorial School of Nursing established under the leadership of Mrs. Melira McPherson Clarkson.


The Child’s Hospital and Home becomes Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital for Children, later coming Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital.


Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital moved to 21st and Howard; the 70-bed hospital building consisted of four stories and a basement and was equipped with an electric passenger elevator.  The new hospital served 768 patients in its first year.


Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital moved to a new 200-bed hospital building at 44th and Dewy Streets, across from the University of Nebraska Medical Center; 9,730 patients were admitted in 1955 and the hospital had 182 medical staff members.


The then called “North Tower” addition was completed, adding an additional 250 beds.


Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital purchased the former 100-bed Lord Lister Hospital and moved to its building at 26th and Dewy. Bishop Clarkson Memorial School of Nursing also moved to the new, with students housed in several nearby homes.


The Doctors Building North Tower was completed on the north side of Farman Street and connected with a skywalk to the hospital building.


The Bishop Clarkson Memorial School of Nursing changed its name to Bishop Clarkson College and received National League of Nursing accreditation for its diploma program.


Clarkson Regional Health Services was formed as a parent organization for Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital.


CRHS and the University of Nebraska entered into a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) in 1997, effectively merging Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital and the University Hospital.


Nebraska Health System became The Nebraska Medical Center.


CRHS began to establish new strategic initiatives that have resulted in CRHS becoming increasingly involved in mission-driven programing and expanded its philanthropic support to a diverse group of organizations.