1958:  The Benedictine Sisters of Yankton, South Dakota, purchase a 24-acre campus, including the Bailey Hospital and Sanatorium buildings, to open a long-term care facility for the elderly in Lincoln, Nebraska. They choose the name “Madonna” in honor of the Blessed Mother and provide services according to the Benedictine values the hospital continues to follow today. Known as the Madonna Home, the facility begins to earn its reputation for excellence.

1965:  Sister Phyllis Hunhoff is named the new administrator for Madonna Home. Although the mission was originally to serve the elderly in a long-term care setting, Madonna soon evolves to meet the growing need for physical medicine and rehabilitation programs to help people of all ages regain independence and live in their own communities.

1966:  As an early leader in this specialization, Madonna begins offering rehabilitation services. That same year, Madonna receives the nation’s first Medicare certification.

1971:  Madonna constructs a new 132-bed facility, the St. Joseph building, for short-term care. The Madonna Foundation is established the same year. By the early 1970s, Madonna is the acknowledged rehabilitation leader in Lancaster County, serving over 400 patients a year in a designated skilled certified area. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and recreation therapy services are included in Madonna’s interdisciplinary approach to care.

1976:  The hospital tears down the old St. James building and builds a new 120-bed unit, St. James Hall, in its place.

1978: Marsha Lommel is named director of Rehabilitation Services.

1979:  Madonna becomes licensed as a hospital and opens a 22-bed stroke and brain injury unit.  

1980:  Madonna is first accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and receives its first continuous three-year accreditation.

1984: Madonna adds outpatient rehabilitation services to the continuum of care.

1987: Madonna is one of the first hospitals to offer a specialized day program for Alzheimer’s patients.

1989:  Marsha Lommel becomes the  President and CEO of Madonna.

1990:  A $4 million expansion connects Madonna’s two main buildings and adds a therapy gym, treatment rooms, physician offices and outpatient entrance. Just a few years later, Madonna builds an indoor therapy pool, research and education center, Independence Square and the chapel. During the ‘90s, Madonna expands services in Nebraska, opening sub-acute rehabilitation units at Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings, BryanLGH Medical Center East in Lincoln and Faith Regional Health Systems in Norfolk.

1994:  Madonna expands its inpatient rehabilitation continuum and establishes the first specialty hospital in Nebraska, offering physical rehabilitation to medically complex patients.

1995:  Madonna transitions its religious sponsorship from the Benedictine Sisters to Diocesan Health Ministries.

1999:  The hospital adds the Commons Café for patient, visitor and employee dining. The Kit Scott Therapeutic Learning Center, to help children with disabilities transition back to school.

2000: Madonna builds the Chip Woods House, a new assisted living house for people ages 19 to 59 with severe disabilities.

2001: Madonna develops the Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering.

2002: Madonna opens two outpatient clinics called TherapyPlus. Today, there are three Lincoln TherapyPlus clinics and one inside the Omaha Campus at convenient locations and hours for rehabilitation services.

Jan. 2006: Madonna opens ProActive, the state’s first medically based wellness facility. Madonna ProActive combines a state-of-the-art facility, along with expert staff and a holistic approach to wellness.

Dec. 2006: Madonna adds Soteria, a holistic healing spa, located at ProActive. Soteria features a wide variety of therapeutic body treatments.  

2010:  A state-of-the-art, 14-bed Alexis Verzal Children’s Rehabilitation unit is established.  All inpatient and outpatient pediatric services are consolidated into this hospital area, creating a dedicated destination for children needing rehabilitation care from across the Midwest.

2010:  The research taking place by Madonna’s Research Institute results in ICARE.  The patented technology is being used around the world to improve walking and fitness of individuals with physical disabilities and chronic conditions.

2014:  Madonna expands to Omaha and establishes Madonna Rehabilitation Specialty Hospital at Bellevue Medical Center to address the demand for inpatient rehabilitation services.

2014:  Madonna and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) establish an academic affiliation resulting in a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) residency program.

Sept. 4, 2014:  Madonna hospital leadership join city and state leaders for the Omaha campus groundbreaking. The hospital is located on a 20.6-acre site west of the Village Pointe shopping center at 175 and Burke Street.  

2015:  Paul Dongilli Jr., Ph.D. becomes President and CEO of Madonna.

2016: Omaha’s only free-standing rehabilitation hospital opens October 2016.

2018: Madonna’s Omaha Campus is first accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and receives its first continuous three-year accreditation.