Three decades of service earns faculty doctor ultimate recognition

Dr. Gene Kallsen has a long history with Community Medical Centers and holds many titles under his belt. This year, he gets to add “ultimate” to his list of accomplishments. For three decades, Dr. Kallsen has dedicated his work to making Community a significant contributor in the health field and he’s been quietly contributing to Community’s foundational support. For his decades of commitment, he has been named one of Community’s Ultimate People of 2009.

The Ultimate People program, in its first year, was launched by Community Medical Foundation to honor employees and physicians. The employees selected for Ultimate People have distinguished themselves with service to Community’s health care network and to the Foundation. 

“Dr. Kallsen has been an exemplary physician leader and loyal supporter of the Foundation over many years. We salute his dedication and his generosity,” said Rob Saroyan, vice president of Foundation.

Dr. Kallsen started his journey in 1977 as a resident physician, training at Valley Medical Center, (formerly known as University Medical Center, now Community Health Center-Cedar). After completing his residency, Dr. Kallsen, originally from Minnesota, chose to stay in the Valley and became part of UCSF Fresno’s medical faculty. He also served as the president of the medical staff at VMC for two years prior to its takeover by Community. 

In 1990, he became the chief of emergency medicine for the UCSF Fresno residency program and continues to hold the position today.  He also serves as the medical director of one of the state’s busiest emergency departments at Community Regional Medical Center.

He was surprised to hear that he was nominated and selected as one of the four recipients. “I feel very honored,” said Dr. Kallsen, a member of Community’s board of trustees since 2005.

Being able to find ways to provide expert care in many areas has been one of the best things about working at Community, he said.  
“Remember to always have passion for what you do and continue to look until you find the work that you can be passionate about,” Dr. Kallsen advises the new doctors he mentors.

Joann Mercado reported this story. She can be reached at