“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing our team of over 900 team members guiding the citizens of our community to better health,” said Todd Ahrens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hannibal Regional Healthcare System.

“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing our team of over 900 team members guiding the citizens of our community to better health,” said Todd Ahrens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hannibal Regional Healthcare System.

Ahrens responsibilities include, “overseeing the operations of Hannibal Regional Hospital and our employed physician group, Hannibal Regional Medical Group.”

The hospital and its physicians is continuing “to grow and expand our services to meet the needs of our community,” Ahrens said. “In particular, our new Inpatient Rehabilitation unit has been busy, and we are proud to offer this service, so families don’t have to travel outside the region for intensive rehabilitation therapy. 

“There are so many other things I could share about Hannibal Regional,” he added. “Healthcare is a rapidly changing industry, and we work very hard to continue to grow and better serve our community.”

The hospital staff faces many challenges in healthcare, Ahrens explained, “with the most obvious one being the massive amount of regulations placed on us by the federal government, as they administer the Medicare program. A very close second would be challenges surrounding how to anticipate the continuing reformation of healthcare and political questions surrounding the possible appeal of the Affordable Care Act under a new administration.”

Hospital’s awards include coronary intervention, joint replacement

 “We have received a number of awards, and I am most proud of the fact that we receive both clinical and patient satisfaction awards,” Ahrens reported. “First, Hannibal Regional was again recognized in October by Healthgrades for many awards, including the Healthgrades Excellence Award for Joint Replacement, which honors us as being in the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation for joint replacement, as well as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals™ for Coronary Intervention, which places Hannibal Regional in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation.

“We also maintain high patient satisfaction, as this spring we were recognized by Healthgrades for top 15 percent in the National for Patient Care. I think this is a great testament to both the clinical care and customer service we offer our patients and families.” 

When not busy at the hospital, Ahrens is involved in community service, explaining, “Over the past several years I have served on many community boards and am currently serving on the Hannibal Salvation Army Advisory Council, Hannibal Free Clinic and UsTOO Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network Board.

Ahrens reported his parents, Cliff and Kim Ahrens, “raised me and my brother and sister in Hannibal Missouri. All three of us siblings were the product of Hannibal Public Schools and also all graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“My wife, Lydia, and I live in Hannibal with our daughter, Ainsley. I have two other children, Nathan and Anneliese.”

Ahrens received his law degree and a bachelor’s of science degree in biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He practiced law in Hannibal for approximately 11 years before becoming Senior Vice President of Hannibal Regional Hospital. In 2012 the Hannibal Regional Healthcare System Board of Directors appointed him President and Chief Executive Officer.

Father inspired law career

“My parents were a large influence on my career decisions and in particular my father, who practiced law in Hannibal for approximately 25 years before being appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals in the early ‘90s,” Ahrens said. “I can remember seeing my father in his law office working in the legal profession and admiring the work and how it allowed him to help his clients.

“The transition of my career into the area of healthcare was largely influenced by John Grossmeier, who was the President and CEO while I was on the Hannibal Regional Hospital Board of Directors in the early 2000s and who ultimately hired me to represent the hospital as its General Counsel.”

In his free time, Ahrens enjoys playing golf and fly fishing. “I make several trips a year to Bennett Spring State Park to fish for trout but mostly enjoy any travel destination with my family,” he said.

Considering a favorite sport, he explained, “Since the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series and the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t make the playoffs, I am claiming hockey and my life-long support of the St. Louis Blues as my favorite sport.”

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.