Mercy Folsom president ending two decades of career at community hospital

Don Hudson oversaw facility from its early years
By: Don Chaddock, Managing Editor
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The outgoing president of Mercy Folsom has seen some major changes in the 18 years he’s been in the area.

Don Hudson doesn’t seek the limelight but has quietly been behind the shifts and renovations at the hospital in Folsom. He started Aug. 1, 1994.

“When I started, Creekside didn’t go through and there was nothing across the street and nothing down the street,” Hudson said. “At the time, there was the hospital and one medical office building.”

Kim Griffin, who works in the hospital’s public relations department, said Hudson has been a true leader and visionary.

“The growth under Don’s leadership is really amazing,” Griffin said.

In 1994, the hospital had 85 beds, one office building and seven emergency department “bays.”

“They weren’t rooms, but had a bed and curtains separating them,” Hudson said. “Now we have 106 acute beds, 25 private rooms in the emergency department, two medical office buildings on the campus, and many buildings around us that are medical in nature.”

He’s been married for 41 years to the same woman. The couple has three grown children.

“I have a son who lives in Roseville who is a financial adviser, a daughter who’s a real estate agent in Folsom who just had a child here at the hospital a little over two weeks ago and a daughter in Hawaii,” he said. “I have three grand children now.”

Hudson looks back on his 21 years with Mercy, 18 of them in Folsom, with pride.

“We’ve been updating the décor and the expansion of the emergency department in 2007-2008 were critical to our growth,” he said. “We always provided great care, but not necessarily the level of service. I’m proud of the 21-bed progressive care unit (and) the support we’ve had from the community.”

He said the helicopter landing pad is also under construction.

“I’m soon to the proud of the heli-stop, fully funded through grants and philanthropy,” Hudson said.

He’s also proud of the hospital’s commitment to growing with technology.

“In terms of clinical advancements, our tele-health departments now have two tele-health robots,” he said.

One is used to help diagnose stroke patients while the other is used in the intensive care unit.

“The Davinci surgical-assist device is our latest addition,” Hudson said. “It’s less invasive with less pain and has quicker recovery time. We’ve had it since late June. Our physicians encouraged us to acquire this equipment and it’s exceeded its business plan for usage.”

At 65, Hudson plans to pick up a camera to help occupy his spare time. He also plans to stay in the community.

“We did just buy a condo at Tahoe, so we’ll be splitting our time,” he said. “My wife grew up in Truckee, so she’s excited.”

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