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Real Estate Bisnow
May 16, 2008


Appian Realty Advisors has medical suites for lease.  Corporate Plaza @ Quantico Center in Dumfries.  Appian welcomes new tenants:  Health 1st Medical Center, Montclair Physical Therap, Dumfries Family Medical Clinic, among others!  Congrats!


Cal Pierson has expanded and modernized the Maryland Hospital Association, but now that he’s retiring as President, he’ll be able to party like it’s 1849.  See, while luck has nothing to do with his major accomplishments in patient safety or preserving Maryland’s non-profit health insurance, it has a lot to do with his other hobby, gold panning.  When he steps aside on July 1, he’ll have plenty of time to be a happy prospector. We caught up with him at his Elkridge office.


This sculpture was made for him by a homeless woman in Baltimore where Cal’s a past Chair of Healthcare for the Homeless.  He later added real gold in the pan.


The MHA has grown from 45 to 120 employees during Cal’s 16 year tenure and now includes 54 hospitals.  Recently the MHA unveiled a $53 million plan to end Maryland’s nursing shortage, and Cal says revenue from tuition would make it self-sustaining in two years.  The effort, dubbed “Who Will Care,” aims to double the number of graduates from Maryland’s nursing programs and reduce the turnover of current nurses from 13% to 5%.  The goal is 1800 new first-year nursing students beginning in Fall 2009.  Fundraising is underway for public and private funds that would pay for 360 new nurse educators; raise faculty salaries; and increase classroom space.   Cal’s also spent the last year leading a comprehensive study of the physician workforce that shows a similar shortfall exists with doctors deterred by Maryland’s commercial insurance reimbursement which falls 20% below the national average.


One of Cal’s proudest achievements is the MHA’s collaboration to develop the Maryland Safety Center.  The effort netted the Center an Eisenberg Award from the Joint Commission, a national non-profit that accredits health care organizations committed to safety, and Cal sees evidence of safer ICU’s as a result.  He believes they’ll also see positive results on this year’s priority: Targeting the most virulent strain of MRSA. With retirement looming, it’s a task he’ll pass off to incoming President Carmela Coyle, currently an SVP at the American Hospital Association.  But he’s giving her more than MRSA. (That’s not what it sounds like.)  At his retirement party, he’s presenting her with a piece of art he carved from a sassafras sapling.  Cal knows woodwork.


Irony abounds when we realized this non-doctor may be more skilled with a knife than most surgeons.  Cal came to MD by way of hospital associations in RI and NY with degrees from Augustana and SUNY Buffalo.  All in all, he’s amassed 25 years representing hospitals.  Retirement will mean summers in Wisconsin; winters near Tampa; diamond hunting in AR; panning for gold in CA, NV, and VA; and kayaking wherever he can find it.  Reached for comment, his wife Trish said “Cal who?” vaguely remembering a figure who would come home with a fistful of minerals before heading back out the door again.  He’s just returned from panning in Contrary Creek, VA and unconfirmed rumors, which we started, suggest he’s giving all of his employees gold rings upon his retirement.

Cardinal Bank
Frankling Bennett
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