Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is DMC?

A: The Destination Medical Center (“DMC”) is an innovative economic development initiative to secure Minnesota’s status as a global medical destination now and in the future. Today, market forces are driving a small number of select medical institutions to emerge as leaders in delivering the highest quality medical care and attracting patients and visitors from throughout the world. Mayo Clinic can be one of these centers. But, Mayo Clinic’s success in Minnesota is dependent upon the market’s ability to sustain quality access, development, services and the public infrastructure necessary to remain competitive with other destination medical centers in the U.S. and abroad.

Q: What is the vision?

A: The DMC plan has been established to meet five core objectives:

  • Sustain Rochester and Minnesota as a global medical destination that offers patients a welcoming, comfortable and engaging environment in which to receive the most advanced medical care in the world.
  • Grow Rochester as a magnet community attracting the most sophisticated healthcare professionals, promising students and thinkers and educators from across the globe.
  • Leverage Mayo Clinic’s presence in Minnesota to ignite institutional and commercial research in an environment that encourages shared knowledge, partnerships, medical advancements and innovation and capturing that economic development in the form of jobs and new businesses here in Minnesota.
  • Create unparalleled and meaningful experiences of hope, health and hospitality for every person, every day.
  • Provide the ideal patient, companion, visitor and citizen experience to become the world’s premier destination medical community.
Q: What kinds of projects are involved?

A: The vision of the DMC initiative is to transform Rochester into one of America’s model destination cities. The downtown will be an epicenter of the growth in development and services to create a vibrant, world‐class destination community. This growth will be concentrated around 7 core strategies including:

  • Health and Wellness
  • Commercial Research and Technology
  • Learning Environment
  • Hospitality and Convention
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Livable City
  • Retail, Dining and Entertainment

These seven core strategies will help create a community that will grow as an economic force and a dynamic, urban community that promotes well‐being, inspiration and achievement for citizens, patients and visitors.

Q: What types of projects will the public investment be spent on?

A: Public investments will be made in public infrastructure and improvements that support growth of employment, visitation and spending in the market. Importantly, the availability of public funding is predicated on increases in private investment and job growth in the market prior to the funding becoming available. The public investment will be directed to investments that support future growth, such as:

  • Community Infrastructure
  • Economic Development
  • Land Acquisition and Assembly
  • Demolish, Repair or Rehabilitate Buildings
  • Remediate Land
  • Parking and Transportation Facilities
  • Site and Infrastructure Improvements
  • Prep, Sell or Lease Land for Development
  • Build and Equip Suitable Structures
Q: What is the governance structure for DMC?

A: DMC is a public-private partnership between Mayo Clinic, the City of Rochester, Olmsted County and the State of Minnesota. The legislation called for two bodies to be created, the primary purpose of which is to plan and execute the DMC strategic vision. The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) is an oversight body that will approve the development plan and specific funding requests for the DMC. The DMCC Board of Directors is representative of the primary stakeholders on the project. Mayo Trustee Bill George was appointed to represent Mayo Clinic. Others appointed include: Governor Mark Dayton’s chief of staff Tina Smith, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, former Wells Fargo executive James Campbell, Rani Engineering president Susan Rani, Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede, Rochester City Council Representative Ed Hruska, and Olmsted County Commission President Jim Bier.

The second body is the DMC Economic Development Agency (EDA), which will be a nonprofit economic development agency that will contract with the DMCC Board to act as its staff, working with the City and other stakeholders, to develop and execute the DMC plans and strategy.

Q: What is the timeline?

A: Since approval of the DMC legislation this past May, the state, City of Rochester, Olmsted County and Mayo Clinic have been working to set up the governance structure defined by the legislation. The first step was to create the Destination Medical Center Corporation Board and appoint members (see previous question for details on the DMCC Board). The next is to create the DMC Economic Development Agency, which will be a private, non‐profit group responsible for executing the DMC development plan under direction of the DMCC Board.

In mid‐October, DMC will also begin the community input process, which will give community members and other stakeholders the opportunity to participate in a discussion about DMC and the future of Rochester.

It is expected that the first draft of a master development plan for DMC will be completed by second quarter of 2014.

Q: Who keeps track of the public money allocated to DMC?

A: The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is responsible for tracking the $585 million allocated for the DMC project, as well as the first $200 million that is required to be raised privately before public dollars will become available.

Q: Why is this a good idea for Minnesota?

A: The DMC initiative represents the largest economic development opportunity in Minnesota and one of the largest in the country creating thousands of new jobs and generating billions in new tax revenue.

  • JOBS: Mayo growth, combined with DMC, will create an estimated 35,000 – 45,000 jobs in Minnesota (25,000‐30,000 DMC/Mayo direct and 10,000‐15,000 indirect) over 20 years, as well as 1,800‐2,200 jobs from construction per year.
  • TAX REVENUES: The DMC, combined with Mayo growth projected forward, will generate significant new state and local taxes:
  • The State of Minnesota is projected to collect an estimated $2.5 ‐ $3.0 billion in additional tax revenues (personal income, sales, other state taxes) over a 20‐year period.
  • The City of Rochester is estimated to collect approximately $195 ‐ $205 million in additional taxes over a 20‐year period.
  • Olmsted County is estimated to collect approximately $145 ‐ $155 million in additional taxes over a 20‐year period.
  • Other jurisdictions (e.g. school district, etc.) are estimated to collect approximately $80 ‐ $90 million in additional taxes over the 20 year period.
  • CAPTURING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: There is also a commercialization element to DMC – the creation of new business/jobs developed through close collaborations. Rochester, and Minnesota as a whole, is currently losing almost all of the start‐up biotech companies created here to other states. A component of DMC includes a strategy to promote Rochester and the State of Minnesota as a desirable location for start‐up businesses, keeping them, and the jobs they bring, here.
Q: Who is involved with the DMC initiative?

A: In order for the DMC vision to become a reality, many players must work together toward this common goal. These critical players include the City of Rochester, Olmsted County and Mayo Clinic, but extend to other key community organizations, county and regional leaders, and state leaders as well. Only by working together will we realize the significant benefits offered by the

DMC. Key players include:

  • City of Rochester
  • Community Asset Inventory Group
  • Hospitality 1st
  • IBM
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
  • Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI)
  • Rochester Area Foundation
  • Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Rochester Arts Council
  • Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Rochester Downtown Alliance
  • Rochester Downtown Master Planning Group
  • Rochester International Airport Board
  • Rochester Sales Tax Committee
  • State of Minnesota
  • University of Minnesota Rochester
Q: Will the Economic Development Association (EDA) take over or replace other organizations and groups?

A: Like any organization, the EDA’s success will be dependent on partnership and collaboration to achieve success. Community groups such as RAEDI, RDA, the Chamber of Commerce and RCVB will continue to be partners in the DMC initiative, and work closely with the EDA to help implement the DMC vision.

Q: How can I get involved in DMC?

A: DMC is working to gather community input and ideas on the 7 core strategies. There are multiple ways interested community members can contribute ideas:

  • Comment or post on the DMC blog (
  • Post ideas via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest
  • Host a DMC presentation for a community group, business or organization
  • Email DMC at

DMC has over 90 ambassadors who meet regularly to ask questions and provide feedback on the ideas and questions they are hearing related to DMC. If you are interested in becoming aDMC Ambassador, email Heidi Mestad at

Q: Will DMC address parking, transportation, commuting and traffic issues?

A: One of the core principles of DMC is planned, responsible growth. An effective long‐term development plan must address infrastructure issues such as parking, transportation and traffic. A positive aspect of DMC is it will not only allow for these issues with development projects, but initiatives such as transportation infrastructure, increased residential housing downtown (which will allow people to walk to work and other activities), livable city (walkable community, trails, green spaces), biking trails, bike share programs and others will help relieve the burden on parking and traffic resources in Rochester.

Q: Are there other communities pursuing initiatives like DMC?

A: While the DMC initiative is unique among other economic development efforts, there are other communities across the United States working to leverage their “anchors,” much in the way Rochester will leverage Mayo Clinic’s presence to promote growth. Examples are Boulder, Colorado; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Madison, Wisconsin. These communities are similar to Rochester in size and their proximity to larger urban cities. They also have been successful in developing products, places and services in areas such as livable city, hospitality, sports and recreation, transportation, and others that are similar to the DMC areas of focus.

Q: Why is it important to be a global medical destination?

A: The continued successes and growth of Mayo Clinic and the Minnesota’s status as a global medical destination are critical not only to Rochester, but to the economic strength of the State as a whole.

In 2010, Mayo Clinic employed more than 36,000 people and generates more than $9.6 billion in economic impact to the State of Minnesota – 4% of Minnesota’s GDP.

In 2011, Mayo Clinic provided $842 million in benefits to the broader community, including cash and in‐kind donations, Education and Research and services to those in need.

In 2012, Mayo Clinic announced it would invest more than $3.5 billion to expand its facilities in Rochester and elsewhere. If the majority of this investment – and future investment ‐ can be secured in Minnesota it will mean more patients, visitors, spending and jobs throughout the region.

Mayo Clinic’s continued growth and investments are affected by the ability of Rochester to sustain its competitive position as a global DMC. The DMC investment has been developed to help secure the continued strength and vitality of Mayo Clinic as a global medical destination. This is not only important to Rochester, it’s critical to the economic strength of the entire State of Minnesota.

DMC will help ensure the best and brightest minds in medicine, research, education and innovation will continue to consider Minnesota when deciding where to build their careers.

Mayo Clinic has provided a destination for hope and healing for almost 150 years. DMC will help perpetuate this legacy, and provide meaningful experiences of hope, health and hospitality for patients coming to Minnesota for care.

Q: Why Minnesota/Why Rochester?

A: While Mayo Clinic could locate its global Destination Medical Center in many places, it is in the best interest of the State that they do so here, in Rochester. Mayo Clinic and Minnesota are already a net importer of health spending and home to a wide variety of first‐class medical institutions, health care and medical device companies and community health organizations. Minnesota’s position as a global medical destination is a reality but sustaining this position is not foregone conclusion. Without continued growth and innovation, without private investment and without the public infrastructure necessary to support this growth, Mayo Clinic and Minnesota will lose their competitive as a global medical destination.

Q: What will happen if we don’t do this?

A: Mayo Clinic is steadfast in its commitment to meet the growing needs of patients and is prepared to make a massive private investment into additional physicians and staff, new medical buildings, technology, clinical and wellness services and the other enhancements needed to effectively compete and retain its position as one of the world’s top medical centers.

While Mayo Clinic could locate its global destination medical center in many places outside Minnesota, it would prefer to make this major expansion here in Rochester. However, if the necessary public support cannot be secured to leverage this significant private investment, those investments could go elsewhere. Continually, Mayo Clinic is approached by others cities, states and countries to expand and extend its unique medical model and services – many are willing to incent Mayo’s expansion to their locale with public incentives and financial support.

Q: Does destination care mean that Mayo will be offering low‐cost care on some procedures to draw in more patients?

A: At Mayo Clinic, we define quality and value as an equation: Quality—meaning patient outcomes, safety and satisfaction—divided by the cost of care over time. The cost of care over time is crucial. By looking at just cost‐per‐procedure, we miss the comprehensive cost of the episode of care, providers' outcomes, safety records and patient satisfaction. These per‐procedure costs do not measure the total cost of health care each individual receives, including the reduced costs patients experience with better outcomes.

Integrated, coordinated care at Mayo Clinic is fundamental to ensuring safety, reducing medical errors and unnecessary procedures, and using finite financial resources responsibly. Coordinating care for patients with chronic diseases, whose care accounts for 75 percent of health care spending, is a clear priority in this arena.

Many chronically‐ill patients obtain their care from multiple providers and care settings seeking a definitive diagnosis and an understandable treatment plan. By getting these patients into an integrated and coordinated system of care, duplication is reduced, care is delivered in a timelier manner and outcomes can be studied so that the care is most effective.