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IHS announces new Nursing Director at Omaha Winnebago Hospital, Winnebago, Nebraska

Other new hires include medical records and nursing staff.

The Indian Health Service Great Plains Area welcomes five additional full-time staff members to new roles at Omaha Winnebago Hospital, including the director of nursing. IHS has been working to recruit and hire medical and administrative personnel in response to longstanding staff shortages at the hospital. This announcement follows one in January, when IHS announced other new hires at the hospital.

"This is part of the continuing IHS commitment to recruit qualified staff to provide high quality patient care," said Rear Adm. Kevin Meeks, IHS Great Plains Area acting director. "IHS is working to recruit highly skilled individuals and fill the right roles to enable our facilities to field a full complement of staff."

As a supervisory clinical nurse, U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Karla Hackett, R.N., B.S.N., M.H.A., will serve as director of nursing at Omaha Winnebago Hospital. Hackett will plan and coordinate nursing services for the hospital, managing all nursing staff and nurse supervisors in the hospital’s three nursing units to ensure the provision of quality care. She is responsible for recruiting, hiring, supervising and continuing education of nursing staff, including setting a culture of quality. She will also monitor the performance of contractors within the nursing units and work to help ensure the efficient use of nursing resources.

Hackett comes to Omaha Winnebago Hospital with the benefit of more than 30 years of nursing experience with IHS. Starting as an entry-level nurse three decades ago, she served in IHS facilities as a clinic nurse, inpatient nurse, obstetrics nurse specialist, emergency nurse, nurse supervisor, director of nursing and director of IHS’s flagship quality care program, Improving Patient Care (IPC). Much of her career has been spent in nursing leadership positions within the Great Plains Area IHS, which includes Omaha Winnebago Hospital, as well as the Phoenix Area IHS. Most recently as head of IPC, she led training for nursing and other clinical staff around the nation and coached IHS facilities and staff through Improving Patient Care implementation. Hackett received her Master of Health Administration degree from University of Phoenix and Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from South Dakota State University.

Additional staff in medical records administration, nursing, patient transportation and computer-based clinical health applications have also joined the Omaha Winnebago Hospital.

The Winnebago Service Unit provides comprehensive health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives in the Sioux City area, including members of the Winnebago and Omaha Tribes. For more information about IHS’s Winnebago Service Unit, visit

The IHS, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.