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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