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Tawnie Wilson | SBJ

12 People You Need to Know in 2024: Michael Calhoun

Double Down on Care

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When Michael Calhoun stepped into the CEO role at Citizens Memorial Hospital two years ago, expansion plans for the Bolivar hospital were still in the design phase. CMH officials broke ground in fall 2023 – and now Calhoun is leading the oversight of the three-year construction project.

The historic $100 million investment of public and private dollars will double the hospital’s footprint by adding 127,000 square feet, including a three-story addition and renovations of another 20,000 square feet. The current hospital is 121,000 square feet.

The plans, designed by Overland Park, Kansas-based HMN Architects Inc. and to be constructed by J.E. Dunn Construction Group Inc., call for doubling the emergency department, converting to private medical and surgical patient rooms, and enlarging the intensive care unit, laboratory, pharmacy and Birth Place facility.

“Growth for us means we’re able to provide more of the health care services to the communities that we serve,” Calhoun says.

CMH recorded over 456,000 outpatient visits in 2022, according to Springfield Business Journal list research.

The hospital is undergoing “make-ready” work, which includes moving offices and creating new parking spaces, and Calhoun expects the demolition phase to begin in spring 2024. If everything stays on schedule, the project should wrap up by December 2026.

Such ambitious growth requires excellent leadership. Calhoun says a good leader empowers others to use their strengths, builds strong relationships with their team and holds themselves to a higher standard than their team members. Living this out requires daily effort.

“It’s one of those things that you have to renew your commitment to every day,” he says.

Calhoun says he is guided by a Bible verse from Ecclesiastes hanging on his office wall to serve as a daily reminder: “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”

Good leadership from others is something that’s kept Calhoun at CMH his entire career, first working at the hospital as a pharmacy technician in 1999. Opportunities for challenge that resulted in growth kept him engaged throughout different job roles, he says.

“The leadership here at CMH just really kept entrusting things to my care that I was able to learn and grow from and make a difference,” he says.

Going forward, Calhoun says the success of the 41-year-old hospital, as well as Bolivar, is a personal matter. He considers the town, where he lives on a farm with his wife and three children, to be home.

“It’s become very personal to me to see CMH succeed – to see Bolivar succeed – and I can’t think of a better way to be able to do that in my life than what I’m doing,” Calhoun says.


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