Marilyn Viehl: Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital

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River City Six: Marilyn Viehl

Established in 1958, Madonna (www.madonna.org) is a national leader in specialized rehabilitation programs. Marilyn Viehl, RN, BSN, MHA is the Administrator for Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital’s new Omaha Campus.

Tell us a little about your business. – We’re opening an exciting new hospital this month providing inpatient rehabilitation services for adults and pediatrics. Although those we serve are medically stable, they have functional and cognitive issues that need to be addressed in order for them to have a successful return to their life and their community.

How did you get started in the business? – Most of my career has been outside of traditional hospital walls, including home health care, hospice, infusion and respiratory therapy. My master’s degree in health care administration was from the ambulatory care track in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, which helped me with community focus. Most recently at Bryan Medical Center, I also have many years of experience in the traditional hospital management, so I consider myself a “generalist” in administration.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – My husband and I worked for a corporation for many years that provided community living experiences for intellectually-challenged people coming out of institutions. This was in the 70s, when community integration was brand new. We had our first two babies living and working in group homes serving up to eight persons at a time. It was the hardest, best work and we loved it.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – I am planning my most important achievement professionally to be with Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals’ Omaha Campus! It won’t be a “personal achievement” because so many persons have worked this dream for five years to make it reality, but it is a huge honor to be in a leadership role with this cutting-edge and caring team.

Tell us a little about your family. – I have four children and eight grandchildren. My husband and I just celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. We raised our kids in Wisconsin but moved to Nebraska almost 20 years ago and have enjoyed it here very much.

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – My husband works in the teaching ministry. He was invited to go to Haiti on a mission trip and we were forever changed. Warren was able to go many times to teach at a seminary there, I was able to do some health work and two of our children went to teach and help build a clinic. We made some lasting friendships and are so grateful for the time we had there.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Anything outside! Gardening, hiking, a ball game or going to one of Nebraska’s fabulous parks.

If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – The law, especially economics and health care policy.

What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? -We volunteer at City Impact during the holidays; I love the caring attitude and the emphasis on dignity. We also support the Wachiska chapter of the Audobon society; I’d love to learn/do more with them whenever we retire.

What is your favorite local restaurant? – Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – I’d encourage everyone to check out the website www.madonna.org. There is a great video that will tell you more about the fantastic hospital services coming to Omaha The Lincoln switchboard number is (402) 413-3000, our Omaha Campus can be reached directly at (402) 401-3100.


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