Dr. Deepak Gangahar, known best for performing surgery on Tom Osborne's heart 28 years ago, has become president of the Nebraska Heart Hospital in Lincoln.
Gangahar, 65, retired from surgery early this year. He is Nebraska's most widely known heart surgeon, having worked on the University of Nebraska's former football coach, treated Husker quarterback Tommie Frazier for blood clots in the mid-1990s and performed procedures on the hearts, arteries, veins and lungs of thousands of other Nebraskans.
As president of the 63-bed Nebraska Heart Hospital, Gangahar will serve as top administrator. The hospital and its companion physician practice, the Nebraska Heart Institute, have more than 30 physicians and several hundred nurses, technologists and support staff. The physician practice has offices in Lincoln, Kearney, Grand Island, Hastings, North Platte and Columbus. The institute and hospital became part of the Catholic Health Initiatives network two years ago.
Gangahar helped create the physician practice in 1987 and the hospital in 2003.
“It's our baby,” Gangahar said this week. “So I'm really happy to be part of the team.”
The past few months he worked as vice president for business development for the Nebraska Heart Institute. Gangahar said his “wife gave me permission” to become hospital president. His wife, Dr. Kiran Gangahar, is a cardiologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. They live in Omaha.
He said hospital administration should be easy compared with standing on his feet six to 12 hours a day for surgeries. Nevertheless, he said, health care in the United States has enormous challenges, including implementing the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare.
“I think there are tremendous opportunites. I have faith in American innovation,” Gangahar said. “I have faith in American physicians and health workers.
“It's survival of who can adapt the best.”