MATTHEWS – Roland Bibeau’s importance to Matthews is underscored by the fact that the hospital executive has received not one, but two, keys to the town.
The first was earned during Novant Health Matthews Medical Center’s 20th anniversary in 2014. The second was awarded virtually June 22 as a retirement gift.
Bibeau, of south Charlotte, is retiring as chief operating officer of the hospital. One of his final acts at the end of the week will be submitting a plan to Novant Health for how he sees the hospital evolving in the next 10 to 15 years.
If it’s anything like that last 12 years, it should be epic.
“That facility is nothing like what it was 12 years ago when (Bibeau) joined the organization here in Matthews,” former Mayor Jim Taylor said. “That was probably one of the best things that ever happened.”
The hospital has added a fifth floor, expanded ICU capacity and critical care services, as well as launched a cardiac catheterization lab and upgraded women’s center. During the hospital’s 25th year anniversary, Bibeau hinted the medical center could expand from 157 to 200 beds within the next five years based on need.
“One thing that I’ve cherished the most in my job is connecting with our patients, our families and ultimately our team members that deliver that remarkable care every day,” Bibeau said.
He credited his success to his wife, Lu. They have been married for 39 years.
Former mayors like Taylor, Lee Myers and Paul Bailey have talked about the positive influence Bibeau has had in the community. He’s provided leadership and resources to groups like the Levine Senior Center, Matthews Alive, Matthews Chamber of Commerce, Matthews Free Medical Clinic, Matthews HELP Center and Matthews Rotary Club.
Bibeau has also served on the board of directors for the Union County Chamber of Commerce.
Then there sre the events designed to bring the community onto the hospital’s campus, including its annual Memorial Day observance and Festival of Trees, which aids area charities.
“He has collaborated with the town on many projects over the years and led efforts that have greatly benefited our community,” Mayor John Higdon said. “He is truly a fantastic community partner.”