Month: December 2013

Community Members to Help Design DMC’s Community Input Process

 About 80 Rochester community members have helped design a framework for the community input process for Destination Medical Center (DMC). DMC is long-term, public-private economic development initiative to further establish Minnesota and Mayo Clinic as a global medical destination and provide the ideal overall experience for those visiting, residing and working in and around downtown Rochester.

RFP Process Update

The Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (EDA) Board announced the short list of firms chosen to continue to the interview phase of the selection for sub-consultants in the DMC Development planning process. The firms were selected from a larger group of firms that submitted proposals in response to the planning request for proposals issued by the EDA in November. In accordance with the process established by the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors, the EDA Board members reviewed the proposals and provided their input, listing the candidates to be short-listed below.

“We are very pleased with the number of high quality RFP responses we received from firms interested in participating in the DMC Development planning process,” said Patricia Simmons, M.D., chair of the EDA Board of Directors. “The candidates selected for the short list represent award-winning firms, and we are excited about the prospect of working with these talented, experienced firms to help bring the DMC vision into reality.”

Read the full news release:

Sports, recreation and nature: What are your ideas?

Ed Hruska, Rochester City Council member and Rochester Amateur Sports Commission executive director, discusses Sports, Recreation and Nature, one of the focus areas for DMC community input.

He talks about what Rochester has, what it might need and the importance of a plan to get there.

Check out the YouTube interview:

What are your ideas to make sports, recreation and access to nature the best it can be in Rochester?

Post Bulletin story: DMC enlists ambassadors to shape, sell plan in Rochester

On Dec. 16, 2013, a story in the Rochester Post Bulletin captures the spirit of DMC Ambassadors, what they are doing and how they are helping build enthusiasm and gather input for DMC.

DMC ambassadors helped collect input for this community vision board.
DMC Ambassadors helped collect input for this community vision board. (Click on the poster to enlarge and read).

This group of about 100 people meet twice a month to brainstorm ideas and volunteer for activities that keep DMC in the spotlight. Reporter Jeff Hansel’s story includes some of the brainstorming from last week’s meeting about ways this group is considering to build awareness.

Writes Hansel: “Grand dreams can be as much a part of the brainstorming process as simple fixes. For example, one of the ambassadors suggested, with an air of jest, that they should suggest closing off Broadway in downtown Rochester to make it like Nicolette Mall in Minneapolis as a grandiose idea to convince people to attend gatherings.

“But another, simpler issue is what to do with DMC T-shirts. One of the ambassadors suggested borrowing the Honkers’ T-shirt cannon and shooting the T-shirts at Ice Hawks games.”

Join the DMC ambassadors. All are welcome.

Surprise concert brings tears of joy

Mayo Clinic patient Rachel Healy says angelic voices of the Bella Voce and Bella Fiore choirs touched her heart and helped sustain her dreams. It was a surprise concert, just for her.Bella Voce and Bella Fiore

“I saw their little faces come in one by one, and children have always touched my heart in a special way….their little faces…were filled with love and joy,” said Healy, who has been a patient of Mayo Clinic for more than 30 years.

“Each girl got to go up and give her a hug….so it’s been very special,” said Shelly Winemiller, director of the Bella Voce Young Women’s Choir, in a story on KTTC-TV. .

Healy says she couldn’t help but cry.  “I just couldn’t help the tears just flowing, and I thought, oh I hope they don’t think I’m sad.  So, I tried to explain these are tears of joy, not sadness…gladness.”

Healy has spent months at Mayo Clinic, dealing with a serious health condition. Watch the story here.


Community members nominated to new Mayo Civic Center Commission

Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede has submitted a list of seven people to serve on a newly created Mayo Civic Center Commission, reports the Rochester Post Bulletin on Dec. 13, 2013.

Mayo Civic Center
Mayo Civic Center

The story says, “the commission will replace the dual governing responsibilities of the Rochester City Council and city Park Board, and will oversee the Civic Center’s executive director, budget, marketing strategy, financial statements and audits and goal-setting.

“In addition, the group will oversee a planned, $80 million Civic Center expansion, for which local legislators and advocates hope to receive $37 million in state bonding money.”

The City Council must approve the nominees. They are:

Arts Community

Marv Mitchell, division chair, media support at Mayo Clinic and president of the Riverside Concerts Advisory Board

Hotel Industry

John Beltz, vice president, brand management and development, Titan Development and Investments; and Dan Nelson, general manager, Hampton Inn

Downtown business community

Jerrie Hayes, attorney and shareholder, Wendland Utz law firm, Rochester

Mayo Clinic employee

Heidi Mestad, Destination Medical Center manager, Mayo Clinic

Community At-Large

John Eischen, executive director, Rochester Area Builders Inc.

Event Industry

Shannon Knoepke, general manager, KROC radio


This group will work to attract more events and convention business to Rochester. What are your ideas to help with this important job?


Be a DMC ambassador (or just check out a meeting to see what it’s all about)

DMC ambassadors have gathered ideas for the community vision boards, volunteered at community events and shared their suggestions for what would make Rochester an ideal experience for those who visit, live here or work here.

Join the group. Meet others who are jazzed about the possibilities of DMC. Come to one meeting to learn more, or come every week. DMC ambassadors meet every other Wednesday. There are two meetings with the same agenda each meeting day – to accommodate more schedules.

Noon – 1 p.m.: University of Minnesota, 300 University Square, 111 S. Broadway, Room 337

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.: Sontes restaurant, 4 Third St. S.E.

2014 Meetings

January – June

Jan. 8, Jan. 22

Feb. 5, Feb. 19

March 5, March 19

April 2, April 16, April 30

May 14, May 28

June 11, June 25

A holiday tradition revived: Seasonal lights on Plummer Building

What other holiday traditions – new or old – would add vibrancy in and around downtown Rochester? Share your ideas here!    

In recognition of Mayo Clinic’s sesquicentennial, a holiday tradition will be revived: the seasonal lighting of the historic Plummer Building in Rochester.

Plummer Building, circa 1952
Plummer Building, circa 1952

Every December from 1950 to 1956, Mayo Clinic displayed a Christmas tree in lights on the south wall of the Plummer Building, facing Second Street Southwest. Mayo electrician Fred Reed and his colleagues planned the annual designs. Night watchmen, as Security personnel were called, manually turned on lights to create the tree pattern each night. From year to year, the tree design varied: all-white, red and green, and white with colored accents. This description from 1950 suggests the extent of the project:

Formed by 60 lighted windows, the tree stands 128 feet high and 131 feet wide. On top of the tree, which extends from the fourth floor through the twelfth, is a five-pointed star of plywood with a light on each point and one in the center.

In 1957, the Mayo Clinic staff publication Mayovox announced the end of this popular tradition: “Not for lack of effort by Engineering Maintenance and the Electrical Department, but because remodeling on many floors has so changed the pattern of lights that it just isn’t possible anymore.”

In the 1960s and early 1970s, an illuminated star was placed in the Plummer Building bell tower. Amid the oil crises of the 1970s, Mayo Clinic ended this custom.

The 2013 illumination will use energy-efficient, LED technology and restore a long-lost glow to the Rochester campus. Once again, the lighting will appear on the Plummer South wall facing Second Street Southwest and will shine daily from 4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. CST through Dec. 31. Also, while displays in the 1950s lasted for only a few days around Dec. 25, this illumination will cover nearly four weeks during the holiday season.

-Reprinted from This Week at Mayo Clinic

Oncospire Genomics brings investment, jobs to Rochester

Investment in Rochester-area bio businesses is getting a boost, thanks to the recent launch of Oncospire Genomics, a joint venture between Mayo Clinic and Rutherford, N.J.-based cancer research company Cancer Genetics, Inc.

Oncospire officially launched in Rochester and is set to receive up to $6 million in direct cash investments from Cancer Genetics Inc. This money goes directly into research and development activities (think scientific and administrative jobs) in labs and offices of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine and Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

Oncospire will focus initially on developing new tests for lung cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. More will come online as Oncospire ramps up and delivers profits. All of Oncospire’s projects take advantage of a rapidly growing new biosciences technology called next-generation sequencing, which allows researchers and physicians to understand the genetic underpinnings of many diseases. From major diseases like heart disease and arthritis to rare familial disorders, genome sequencing technologies are fueling a revolution in health care.oncospire


What are your ideas to make Rochester even more attractive for research and biotechnology businesses?