Month: July 2013

P3’s, Connected Transportation Network are key to DMC success

Christian Holter, Blog Author
Christian Holter, Blog Author

I would like you to consider a number: 45,000. Olmsted County Planning Director Phil Wheeler recently said this is likely the most accurate number of people who currently commute to Rochester from beyond our city limits for work and play. Every. Single. Day.

As Destination Medical Center grows into a reality, its effects will clearly be felt beyond the Rochester area. Fortunately, the crafters of the DMC legislation recognize this, and have wisely chosen to dedicate a portion of the available funds for local and regional transportation and transit projects. Ensuring that our roads, bridges, bike and pedestrian trails are adequately prepared to safely and efficiently handle the ever increasing amount of traffic heading our way will be crucial to DMC’s success.

The changes coming to Rochester are part of a tremendous public/private partnership (P3), on a scale not seen in Minnesota ever before. This sort of investment presents us with both an example and an opportunity to replicate that kind of partnership throughout the whole thread of Rochester and southeast Minnesota.

When it comes to transit, there are numerous ways that this sort of partnership is already in place. All five area park & rides currently utilize privately owned parking lots, giving patrons of these services immediate and convenient access to groceries, dining, banking and other essential goods and services. Local businesses also currently perform a large variety of area transit services. Rochester City Lines, Go Rochester Direct and R&S Transport are just a few locally owned and operated companies providing a broad range of services that benefit from a high quality, connected and efficient transportation network.

Continuing to support and develop these kinds of services that employ hundreds of our friends, family members and neighbors will allow Rochester to continue to see healthy growth. Bike share programs like Nice Ride MN (which was spearheaded by current Minneapolis Mayor and DMC Board nominee R.T. Rybak) also replicate the P3 model, and could be a good fit for Rochester.

Public brainstorming sessions like the ones seen most recently downtown at Thursdays on First & 3rd are tremendous and valuable opportunities, especially for local business owners and entrepreneurs who can use these sessions to learn about what our growing community values and desires. I encourage everyone to continue making your voice heard as we strive together to make our City and region a great place that is easy to access and enjoy.

Share your thoughts on how we can enhance transportation in the region through the comments below.

Christian Holter is the Community Liaison for Rochester City Lines.

Gabe on the Street: Sports & Recreation

Each week, Gabriel Yeager, DMC Super Volunteer and high school student, will talk with member of the community, patients and visitors about one of the 7 areas of focus for Destination Medical Center. This installment talks about Sports and Recreation. Share your ideas on how to develop this area in Rochester and the region through the comments section below.

Rochester’s potential for an active and healthy future

Nicole Yates, Blog Author
Nicole Yates, Blog Author

Hi, my name is Nicole Yates. I was born and raised here in Rochester. I graduated from Century in 2009 and the University of Minnesota Rochester in 2013. I plan to get my Masters in Healthcare Administration from Saint Mary’s University. I would like to find a job here and one day start a family. I have enjoyed growing up in a city where health is the main focus. This is the primary reason why I have chose the path I am on.

From the beginning I have been excited about DMC and all the potential opportunities it will bring to Rochester and the state of Minnesota. In 10-20 years Rochester will be a global destination. People will enjoy coming here not only to seek treatment at the Mayo Clinic, but to engage in all the activities and culture Rochester will have.

Rochester offers a wide range of sports and recreation activities. We have three amateur sports teams: Rochester Giants (football), Honkers (baseball), and the Ice Hawks (hockey). I have been to a Honkers and Ice Hawks game, but have yet to make it to a Giants game. I also enjoy going to Quarry Hill, especially in the fall to hike. Besides hiking I love spending time by the water. At Silver Lake you can rent canoes and paddle boats for a small fee and spend the afternoon on the water. Finally, Rochester is currently in the process of completing their Master Bike plan which will allow cyclists to travel anywhere in the city by bike safely.

I hope as Rochester continues to grow in the next few years  we can have more 5k’s. For example, something similar to the Tough Mudder, it could be held at Skyline speedway. Many patients who travel here bring their families, however they do not always have a car. It would be convenient to have a bowling alley and arcade located downtown for patients families and people traveling here for sports tournaments that do not want to venture far. A nice miniature golf course or water park would be fun for families too. It would be neat for families who want to go on the bike trails, but who were unable to bring a bike, have a place to rent them. In the Twin Cities they have eco bikes. You can rent them for a small fee, ride around, and drop them off at the same or different station. Finally, a drop in work out center that is inexpensive and located downtown would be beneficial for patients and their families.

What are sports and recreation activities you enjoy in and near Rochester? What else can Rochester do to promote a healthy community? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Governor Dayton, Mayo announce reps for DMCC

The Destination Medical Center (DMC) legislation that was passed in May by both houses of the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton created two oversight DMC groups. Today, Tuesday, July 23, the appointments to the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) were announced.

The DMCC board will oversee the state’s largest-ever economic development project and be responsible for leveraging an estimated $5.6 billion in Mayo Clinic and private investment over the next 20 years. The strategic initiative is expected to create tens of thousands of new jobs and secure Minnesota’s competitive position as the premier global destination for health care and medical advancement.

The legislation also outlined the appointments of the eight members of the DMCC Board, with the governor appointing four, the City of Rochester appointing two, Olmsted County appointing one, and Mayo Clinic appointing one member.

John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO, Mayo Clinic, and Gov. Dayton announced their appointments to the DMCC board today.

Bill George, a member of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees and former chairman and CEO of Medtronic Corporation, has been appointed as Mayo Clinic’s representative. George is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School and serves as a director on the boards of ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs and Mayo Clinic.

Gov. Dayton’s appointments to the DMCC Board are:

  •   James Campbell, retired group executive vice president, Wells Fargo & Company
  •   Tina Flint Smith, chief of staff to Gov. Dayton
  •   Susan Rani, president, Rani Engineering, Inc.
  •   R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis

The Minnesota Senate must confirm all four gubernatorial appointees.

In June, the Rochester City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Councilman Ed Hruska as the council’s representative. The legislation also calls for the Rochester mayor to serve on the new board. Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede has announced his intention to serve.

Olmsted County has not yet announced an appointment. The DMCC Board is expected to meet in the next 30 days.

A DMC Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) also was established by the legislation. The DMC EDA is a private economic development agency, the purpose of which will be to provide services to the DMCC board to plan and execute DMC strategies. Watch for more information on the EDA as it evolves.

‘Slider’ shares his vision for Rochester

Slider, Blog Author
Slider, Blog Author

I love Rochester because we have a very diverse population, and you see all types of people coming through the turnstiles at Mayo Field. There are seasoned veterans who have been coming every season, and there are younger fans just getting into baseball, and may be coming to their first game. Some people are really serious about baseball and religiously keep score, while others are just out on the deck to eat, drink and enjoy a night out with family or friends.

The Rochester Honkers are a drawing point when people choose to come to Rochester to live or visit or medical care.  We are truly a quality of life benefit to the city.

One thing the Rochester Honkers, the city and fans would benefit from is an updated/renovated stadium. While the Honkers have made many improvements to Mayo Field over the years, the facility shows its age.  Additional handicap-accessible seating areas, better and cleaner restrooms, increased accessibility and seating could help make the overall experience in Rochester what the city is all about – top notch!

Our fans are loyal, have been coming for years, and they deserve to be as comfortable as possible while watching the team play or watching other events at the ballpark! If the necessary improvements could be made to Mayo Field (or even if a new stadium were to be built), I believe the Honkers baseball experience could become even more rewarding and potentially draw even more fans to our games – plus continue to put Rochester on the map as a destination!

I am very hopeful for Rochester’s future, and one of the reasons is because we have one of the premier medical institutions in the U.S. in Mayo Clinic. It will continue to draw many visitors here. Going to a baseball game is a great option to have for entertainment, relaxation and a brief moment when one can get lost in America’s pastime and forget some of their troubles for a few hours.  Having an affordable attraction like the Honkers in town gives families an opportunity for very reasonably priced entertainment during the summer, and we as an organization strive to continue to provide the best experience possible. I’d also get to see and meet more happy fans too!

Slider is mascot to the Rochester Honkers Baseball Club, a member of the premier summer collegiate league, The Northwoods League, has been in existence since the inaugural season of 1994, celebrating our 20th season in 2013. You can read more about our team here!


Word on the street: What’s your vision for Rochester?

With legislative funding secured and a governance structure under way for Destination Medical Center, it’s time for the community to share ideas for Rochester’s future.

In this video, Mayo Clinic’s own Hoyt Finnamore and John Murphy talk with Mayo Clinic staff and other community members about what they envision for Rochester – and even do a little dreaming themselves.

“The community visioning process is an important part of DMC’s success,” says Lisa Clarke, administrator for DMC. “We want to hear from community members, employees, patients, visitors – anyone who wants to help build an even more vibrant Rochester that will provide great experiences.”

The community visioning process will kick off next week. The DMC Ambassadors, a group of volunteers who are rallying the community during the visioning phase, will host DMC Day at Thursdays on First. To participate, visit the DMC table at the Peace Plaza intersection at Thursdays on First this coming Thursday, July 25 from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Share your ideas and be sure to pick up a free DMC T-shirt – while they last.

You can also share your ideas by commenting on this post, as well as DMC’s Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest – check out the top navigation to get there quickly and easily!

Dr. Moir: Mayo needs to be proactive about patient experience

Dr. Chris Moir, right, is a pediatric surgeon and Medical Director for the Mayo Clinic Children's Center
Dr. Chris Moir, right, is a pediatric surgeon and Medical Director for the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center

When patients come to Mayo Clinic, they become local consumers. Many people are surprised to learn that patients spend only 30 percent of their time in the care setting – the remaining 70 percent is spent in the community.

Destination Medical Center (DMC) research shows that patients have four to five hours of free time per day – time they want to spend doing other things besides waiting for appointments. Visitors want to shop, dine, get outdoors, visit entertainment venues; as well as attend classes, demonstrations and seminars about staying healthy. This is a great opportunity for Mayo and its community partners.

It also means patient experiences need to be anticipated, especially for patients with unique needs – like kids.

Rochester is known for having things kids and families want, but Chris Moir, M.D., medical director for the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, says the methods of getting families there can be improved.

Mayo staff do the best they can to direct patients toward family-friendly activities, from giving them directions to personally driving them there, but this is only one way to help families find things to do. Dr. Moir thinks existing services could be updated and re-packaged to assist families in getting the most out of their Rochester experience.

“Our job is to care for patients,” says Dr. Moir. “Yes, part of care is to look out for family needs when they’re staying in town, but that’s not our expertise. We have a new opportunity to bring experts in to connect families with the region and build meaningful bridges between patients and the community.” He recommends pursuing and welcoming visitors proactively instead of only offering services as needed.

DMC can help Mayo and the community connect patients and visitors with the activities they want. “DMC creates the strategy that allows us to proactively pursue opportunities rather than just addressing needs as they arise,” says Dr. Moir. “We need to maintain a balance between individual caring for families and what we as a community can provide.” He thinks the balance toward individual caring is emblematic of our Midwest roots, but we need to augment that warmhearted attitude with a more systemic, proactive approach to improve patient experience.

What are more proactive ways Mayo and the Rochester community can help improve the patient experience? Share your thoughts by commenting on this article.

As experiences go, nothing beats a hug

I was walking back to my office from a meeting on Wednesday when I came across two young freehugs2women bearing signs that said, “Free Hugs.” One of them came up to me and said, “Would you like a hug?” When I said, “absolutely,” she gave me a quick squeeze and told me to have a great day.

After that, how could I not?

Our office got several phone calls that afternoon and Joe Kane, one of our wonderful Mayo photographers, caught Katie Norris and Morgan Blair in action. They hugged (among many others) a woman who was a Mayo Clinic patient who was headed to an appointment to receive a diagnosis. The offer of a hug was welcome and appreciated – and it brought happy tears.

One of DMC’s platforms is to provide optimal experiences for patients, visitors and community freehugsmembers. And, as Katie and Morgan showed us this week, caring and compassion are two of the easiest, least expensive and most meaningful ways we can help give patients the experience they want and need.

What are ways the community can help optimize experiences for patients who come to Rochester for care? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Karen Trewin is a manager for the Destination Medical Center team and works in the Division of Community Engagement for Mayo Clinic Public Affairs.


Untapped potential

Tia Calvert

My husband I and moved to Rochester over 5 years ago from Colorado Springs. My husband’s family lives here in town and due to unfortunate job loss in Colorado, we decided to move (back) to Rochester. Before we left Colorado, I made up my mind that I would work at Mayo Clinic. Fortunately, I was hired on after two years of contracting with Mayo. It’s been the best place I’ve ever worked! Compared to my previous jobs “in the real world” the opportunities, growth, education, research and care here are unsurpassed. I am blessed to be here, but find myself wondering when I can leave because of the lack of development and untapped potential in Rochester. Luckily, there is the DMC initiative and it passed! I’m excited to see the city grow into its fullest potential and continue to draw in the worlds’ best and brightest while giving those of us who live here a reason stay.

Coming from a city of nearly 1 million people, moving here ended up being quite a change. Because of the reputation of Mayo Clinic, my expectations of Rochester were high. I figured there would be great shopping, restaurants, museums, a university, lots of activities, etc. I was sorely disappointed. While there are a few good restaurants (that aren’t expensive) and a few good shops, the rest leaves the community to be desired. It struck me as very odd that a community with so many different types of people, visitors from around the world and a world class health care facility seemed to exist in a sleepy, small town. While that may be the attraction for some, for many of us who live here and would like to stay, this presents a problem. If you don’t work at Mayo, IBM or a successful enterprenuer, there doesn’t seem to be much opportunity for growth. There is no major university here besides satellite campuses with a limited number of degree offerings, no museums, no zoo, small town retail, and a limited number of restaurants. Chick-Fil-A, Q’doba, Texas Roadhouse and Red Robin, where are you? Sephora, West Elm and Pottery Barn, please come to Rochester! How is the community expected to grow or advance? Why would anyone want to stay if opportunities are slim? While I love new experiences, I don’t want to always have to go to the Twin Cities to do that. I would rather spend that time and money in my community. I have several friends with great business ideas but are afraid to “venture out” because they feel Rochester doesn’t have that kind of market and sadly, they’re right.

My generation is the future. We’re young adults, young couples and young families who want the best for our future and our children. Connecting with the community is important. DMC is a shining light for prosperity, growth, jobs, stability, education, and advancement in a small town; a diamond in the rough. I’m grateful for the vision of the community leaders for a Rochester Master Plan for growth to keep this community thriving. I’m now feeling excited to be in Rochester during this time to live and contribute to its vision for growth. I plan to help with vision and direction of DMC not just because of my place of employment, but mainly because I want to see the untapped potential of this wonderful community come to fruition. Join me and many others as we go on this journey together!

What kind of potential do you see in Rochester’s future? Share your thoughts through the comment feature below.

Tia Calvert is a Media Analyst in the Creative Media Department at Mayo Clinic