By Associated Press - Thursday, November 13, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The University of Nebraska Medical Center and its clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine, announced Thursday that they will provide physician and academic services to a new rehabilitation and long-term care hospital being built in west Omaha.

Under the partnership, the Omaha Madonna campus will also serve as the primary training site for a new UNMC residency program in physical medicine and rehabilitation. The program will train doctors to treat injuries and illnesses that affect nerve, muscle and bone. It’s the first such program in Nebraska and one of the few in the Upper Midwest.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to transform the lives of adults and children seeking rehabilitative care, as well as provide quality academic experiences for our residents, medical students and other health professionals,” UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey Gold said in written statement.

UNMC said Omaha is underserved in physical medicine and rehabilitation services, meaning 1,300 people who would quality for rehabilitation each year in the area are instead referred to nursing homes and other facilities.

The Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Omaha is expected to open in the fall of 2016, with 110 beds to treat adults and children with traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries or neurological diseases, or who have suffered a stroke.

UNMC and Nebraska Medicine have already been working with Madonna at its long-term care hospital and rehabilitation clinic that opened in April at Nebraska Medicine’s hospital at Bellevue. Officials said Tuesday’s agreement will provide a wider range of clinical services and academic programs when Madonna opens its west Omaha hospital.

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