Passion Gives Us the Courage to Persevere

Dr. Steven Calvin provides a role model for us

By Craig Wilson

Dr. Steven Calvin is a neonatal surgeon, yet he harbors a passion for a simpler and much less expensive form of childbirth. When he’s not under the bright lights in the surgical unit, he’s been getting his vision of a birthing center brought into being. It’s not been easy. He began this journey three years ago and thought the birth center would be operational in months, not years. Through passion for the project, his courage to face the government to change laws, and his perseverance to overcome all obstacles, the Minnesota Birth Center saw its first birth in May. In December 2010 the birth center’s website posted this prognosis:

“You may be wondering what has become of our freestanding birth center at 2606 Chicago Ave.  The news is very good.  It has been a long gestation and labor is about to start.  We are optimistic for the launch of the first Minneapolis birth center in 2011.   The prolonged gestation involved the wait for passage of a state birth center licensing bill and for revision of the city zoning code to permit birth centers.”

Dr. Steven Calvin sits in the family room of the Minnesota Birth Center Megan Tan, Star tribune

It wouldn’t be until early 2012 that the center opened. It took a year and a half to get the zoning laws changed and the state to pass legislation that would allow for the birth center to be paid by insurance like hospitals for their services. Then there were the extra costs and financing difficulties. I had the opportunity prepare financial forecasts for the project. I use this as a case for my accounting classes of why we love Excel and need to create spreadsheets that are easily updated. I prepared countless iterations as new facts became known.

Dr. Calvin believed so passionately about this project that he finally raided his retirement plan to fund it. He likes to refer to it as his “401 (k)” house. The Minnesota Birth Center got a big boost last week when it was the featured front page article in the Star Tribune. Dr. Calvin truly believes this allows for a more meaningful childbirth experience for most
women, with the security of knowing Abbott Northwestern Hospital is across the street should the need arise.

His passion gave him the courage to fight through all the obstacles to persevere and see his vision become reality.

What is your passion?

What obstacles do face?

Where do you draw the courage to persevere to reach your goal?

Remember these words of Winston Churchill – “Never, never, never give up!”

Know too, we are with you!

Here’s a link to the Star Tribune article:

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8 Responses to Passion Gives Us the Courage to Persevere

  1. Kristina Selting says:

    Whenever I think of having the courage to persevere, I think of my mom and the example she has set for me. Forced by circumstance to raise 5 kids on her own, I suppose it would have been easy for her to let obstacles become insurmountable hurdles, but she never did. She simply gritted her teeth and faced the world with amazing confidence and grace. I am passionate about my tae kwon do training, but when I get frustrated – I think of her. No obstacles I face – whether in training or in life – could begin to equal what she went through and if I turn out to be half the person she is, I’ll be very lucky. In the end, courage reveals the character that already exists in you.

    • Craig Wilson says:

      What an inspriring story. Thank you for sharing it Kris! I really agree with your conclusion – In the end, courage reveals the character that already exists in you.

  2. Rosalba Lopez says:

    My passion right now is to finish my college education, to demonstrate myself and family members that I can do it. I don’t think I have an obstacle to do it, because having a three month old baby boy at home is not an obstacle for me, he is a force that drives me to go ahead. I draw the courage to pesevere to reach my goal in my baby, because I want him to be proud of me and to draw a path for him to follow when he grow up. I also have the courage to persevere thanks to my dad because he is my role model and I want to be as successful as he does. And I will never, never, never give up!

  3. Volkan Eroglu says:

    Many men fail because they quit too soon. They lose faith when the signs are against them. They do not have the courage to hold on, to keep fighting in spite of that which seems insurmountable. If more of us would strike out and attempt the “impossible,” we very soon would find the truth of that old saying that nothing is impossible…abolish fear and you can accomplish anything you wish. – Dr. C. E. Welch (founder, Welch’s Grape Juice)

  4. Christine Drentlaw says:

    My passion is to get my degree, to prove to myself I can do it and to inspire other people who have many difficulties that it can be done. Each day I have to push through pain, which at times seems insurmountable, but I have learned you can perservere through it. I want to inspire people who are older and have to “start their lives over,” that you are never too old. I believe that we inspire others all through our lives and if each of us pushes ourselves a bit then we can achieve things that we once thought insurmountable.

    • Craig Wilson says:

      You are an inspiration to all of us Christine! You’ve also gave a great introduction to our next blog – “It’s Never too Late”. I think of how much you’ve overcome, and how much you’ve grown in the past year, and I can’t help but marvel at your perseverance. I can’t wait to see to see what’s in store for you this year!

  5. Sara Ptacek says:

    This is extremely inspiring because he put his whole heart and soul into this project (not to mention his retirement savings!) My passion at the moment is to finish my degree and learn as much as I can from people I am surrounded by. I think being around people is the best way to learn because you are not only learning from instructors, but also from the people you interact with in the classrooms. I came to MSB from the University of MN Duluth and while I was there I never really learned much from anyone except the information that was necessary to pass the class. Since coming to MSB I have multiplied what I have learned by huge amounts and this comes from my instructors as well as other students in the classrooms.

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