New center at NIC strives for children’s health solutions

New center at NIC strives for children’s health solutions

Nebraska Innovation Campus

Nebraska Innovation Campus has announced a new partner. Dan Duncan, NIC’s executive director, said today that the Children’s Center for the Child & Community has moved into space on campus.

The center, created by Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, aims to integrate health care and public health efforts to improve the overall health of children statewide. The center will collaborate with towns and cities in Nebraska to create local solutions to large-scale children’s health issues such as childhood obesity, poverty, injury prevention and food insecurity. In addition to building partnerships to improve children’s health, the center will strengthen the organization’s role in advocacy and health care policy.

Karla Lester, who also is medical provider for Children’s HEROES pediatric weight management clinic in Lincoln, leads the center. A longtime pediatrician, community advocate and founder of the non-profit Teach a Kid to Fish, Lester has seen firsthand the need for a coordinated approach to children’s health.

“There are a lot of positive efforts happening, but there hasn’t been a hub of coordination to ensure the biggest impact,” Lester said. “Children’s is a high-level partner that has the expertise and infrastructure to offer communities the support they need. Children’s brings the vision and the resources to move the needle.”

Duncan said: “What Children’s is doing at NIC is a great example of the partners at NIC having a significant statewide impact.”

Holly Dingman will serve as the center’s manager.

Children’s has a research partnership with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Psychology to research the effectiveness of Children’s HEROES pediatric weight management programs in Omaha and Lincoln. Children’s is also part of a research team that received a “Food for Health” planning grant. Work from this grant is creating a research protocol to address early childhood obesity. In 2008, Children’s and the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine created Children’s Specialty Physicians, more than 175 specialty pediatric physicians who practice at Children’s and hold faculty appointments at UNMC.

NIC is a research campus designed to facilitate new and in-depth partnerships between the university and private sector businesses. At full build-out, NIC will be a 2.2-million square-foot campus with uniquely designed buildings and amenities that inspire creative activity and engagement, transforming ideas into global innovation.

Tetrad Property Group is the private sector development partner for NIC. Tetrad provides a full range of development services for the campus, including master planning, construction management, leasing and property management.