Tuesday marked a special anniversary for the Hannibal community, as Hannibal Regional Hospital celebrated its 25th anniversary at its current location about two miles west of downtown Hannibal.

Tuesday marked a special anniversary for the Hannibal community, as Hannibal Regional Hospital celebrated its 25th anniversary at its current location about two miles west of downtown Hannibal.

While most know the medical campus today as the hospital, the children’s center, the James E. Cary Cancer Center, Hannibal Regional Medical Group and other providers, the beginnings of campus start with a cornfield.

It’s now hard to picture the area south of Hannibal Regional Airport dominated by cornstalks, prior to an impending roundabout, a gas stations, multiple hotels, financial institutions and Moberly Area Community College. But we have a few visionary leaders to thank for transforming that corner of Northeast Missouri into a location where most ailments can be treated close to home.

Before Hannibal Regional Hospital opened its doors in 1993, most patients were treated at the hospital formerly known as St. Elizabeth’s, right in the middle of Hannibal. Aging and outdated, the board of directors at Hannibal Regional knew something needed to be done to continue to provide quality health care services to the people of area.

Those leaders were instrumental in helping to shape the Hannibal we have today.

Hannibal Regional is one of the largest employers in the area and continually works to meet the health care demands of a changing community. They have developed a strategic plan to provide preventative care so people can avoid costly hospitalizations.

That all started with a few people who recognized a need in the community and weren’t afraid to take risks to meet that need.

Todd Ahrens, the CEO of Hannibal Regional today, mentioned by name John Grossmeier, his predecessor, during a reception held at the hospital Tuesday. Indeed Grossmeier deserves a lot credit, but so do many people who mainly go unrecognized and whose names are largely forgotten.

Without them, Hannibal wouldn’t have such fine facilities, and the region would be worse off.