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Mel McNea, 2018 Excellence In Service Award Recipient

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Great Plains Health CEO awarded the Nebraska Hospital Association’s highest honor

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


October 24, 2018

CONTACT: Fiona Libsack, chief development officer


Great Plains Health CEO awarded the Nebraska Hospital Association’s highest honor

North Platte, Neb. This week Great Plains Health Chief Executive Officer Mel McNea was presented the Nebraska Hospital Association’s highest honor, the Excellence in Service award. The award was presented in La Vista at the organization’s annual convention with approximately 400 healthcare executives from across Nebraska in attendance.

The Excellence in Service award is presented to a health system chief executive officer who has demonstrated outstanding administrative skills, professional performance, health care organization involvement and significant leadership.

For more than 30 years, Mel has led healthcare transformation in Nebraska with passion, integrity and boundless energy, all with one goal in mind – to improve healthcare access to the citizens of western Nebraska, eastern Colorado and northern Kansas.

“In his quest for excellence at all levels, Mel has led the Great Plains Health system through an unprecedented period of growth, quality improvement and expansion,” said Dr. Ned Mack, Great Plains Health Board president.

“Mel has transformed the culture of Great Plains Health and dramatically reduced employee turnover rates,” said Fiona Libsack, chief development officer. “The organization has grown by 300 employees and 12 specialties in the past six years alone.”

His nomination application reads, “His genuine leadership and passion for healthcare excellence have brought many successful strategic initiatives to fruition, including the addition of a heart and vascular program, a new patient tower, a new medical office building, the development of the Great Plains Physician Network, a spine surgery center, a clinically integrated network, a wound healing center and the first mobile CT program in western Nebraska. Throughout his 30-plus years with the organization, McNea has implemented countless programs and processes that have improved patient, physician and employee engagement at Great Plains Health.”

McNea joined Great Plains Health in 1987 as the director of diagnostic imaging, leading that department through tremendous growth in volume and changes in technology and process improvement. He was selected for the prestigious Caring Kind award from the Nebraska Hospital Association in 1998. In 2004, he was promoted to vice president of operations and served as interim CEO for the first time in 2008. In 2014, Mel was appointed as the chief executive officer.

Prior to his tenure at Great Plains Health, McNea was the director of radiology at St. Anthony's Hospital in O'Neil, Nebraska, and at St. Andrew's Hospital in Bottineau, North Dakota. McNea is active on the boards of the Nebraska Hospital Association, North Platte Area Chamber & Development and Educational Service Unit 16.

McNea holds a master's degree in healthcare administration from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor's in biology and secondary education from Valley City State College in Valley City, North Dakota.


About Great Plains Health

Based in North Platte, Nebraska, Great Plains Health is a fully accredited, 116-bed acute-care regional medical center serving western and central Nebraska, northern Kansas and southern South Dakota. With 90 physicians representing nearly 30 medical specialties, the Great Plains Health system offers advanced healthcare including heart and vascular, cancer and orthopedic surgery services. The system employs approximately 1,087 employees and serves a geographic area spanning approximately 67,832 square miles in 38 counties.

The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is home to an American College of Surgeons accredited cancer center, primary stroke center and level II bariatric surgery program. For more information, visit

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