Monday, June 20, 2022 Family of Former San Juan Regional Medical Center CEO Donates Eagle Statue

San Juan Regional Medical Center now has a permanent memorial to honor the life and legacy of a man who left a lasting mark on our hospital and our community. The family of Don Carlson, former President and CEO of San Juan Regional Medical Center, came together in our Healing Garden over the weekend to donate an eagle statue in their late father’s honor. 

Don Carlson’s name was synonymous with progressive leadership at San Juan Regional Medical Center for more than a decade, where he served as president and CEO beginning in the late 80’s. A gentle, visionary man, Don came to the Four Corners from Wyoming just as the oil and gas downturn of the 1980s was ending. Under Don’s leadership, our community owned hospital saw remarkable growth. Access to care was enhanced both on the ground and in the air. People were able to enjoy quality care right here at home as pride in our hometown hospital soared. Here are a few of the notable achievements during Don’s leadership:

  • The cross-town Immediate Care Center opened. Today, we know it as San Juan Health Partners Urgent Care. 
  • AirCare launched and expanded to become a 24/7 air ambulance operation. 
  • A $26 million capital campaign was conducted to improve infrastructure and create an outpatient surgery facility.
  • The San Juan Medical Foundation grew, and our Cancer Center opened. 

By the time Don retired in 1999, San Juan Regional Medical Center was poised on the edge of a new millennium and ready to take on the challenges of the coming century.

Thank you to the Carlson family for donating this eagle statue to honor Don’s lasting legacy,” said John Mayer, CFO and Acting Administrator of SJRMC. “An eagle symbolizes vision, bravery, courage, determination and grace. Don exhibited all these qualities. He wasn’t afraid of taking on the major challenges the hospital was facing when he became CEO. With his gift of visionary leadership, he inspired positive change, growth and pride.”

The eagle will be housed in a glass case in the main hallway of the hospital where many people will pass it every day. It reminds us that with tenacity, courage and vision, anything is possible.

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