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3 things you didn't know about the president of Howard County General Hospital

For Howard Magazine

Steven Snelgrove, 61, took the helm of Howard County General Hospital in Columbia in 2014. The Connecticut native left a 25-year stint as an administrator at Wake Forest Baptist Health in North Carolina to move to Howard County. His wife, Joyce, is a Montessori school teacher and they are the parents of one son. Here, Snelgrove shares three little-known facts about his life.

He picked tobacco as a youth. Snelgrove says many people falsely believe tobacco is solely a product of the South. At age 11, he took a summer job in South Windsor, Conn., picking shade tobacco, which is grown under cotton tents. “We went from sitting on our rears, to our knees, to squatting and then reaching,” he recalls of the arduous manual labor that many kids in his neighborhood did. He also kept the Hartford Courant newspaper route he started when he was 10, doing both jobs through age 15.

He’s held a beating heart in his hands. Snelgrove was studying hospital administration at the University of Connecticut in 1977 when he took a job at Hartford Hospital holding the retractors that keep a patient’s body open during surgery. He also plucked shotgun pellets out of a patient’s brain once. “The job was fascinating and humbling, and it helped me understand how hospitals work,” he says.

He’s a photography buff. Snelgrove uses a Canon 70D to take shots of nature, mainly during vacations to his family’s summer home on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, where he also kayaks. The lifelong pastime “brings out the artist’s side of me,” he says. He notes he hasn’t yet found time for his other love, ice hockey, which he played at UConn. Returning to the sport is at the top of his wish list.

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