Emily Carson is an active Rochester community member; she is a columnist for the Post Bulletin, as well as an ordained Lutheran pastor. Actively speaking and networking in Rochester, she is no stranger to the meaning of “community.” The Destination Medical Center (DMC) interviewed Pastor Carson about her perspective of Rochester and its future
DMC: What “makes” a community?
Pastor Carson: A community is a group of people with shared goals.
DMC: Why is the Rochester community unique?
PC: From very early on, Rochester has been a town rooted in good medical care. We are unique in that we are maintaining a foundation of good medical care while also expanding in a variety of directions: a thriving downtown, active arts community, diversity of religious expression, excellent education options, good access to quality grocery stores, and strong civic and community engagement.
DMC: How do you think DMC will affect the Rochester community?
PC: I believe DMC can very much be a uniting experience for Rochester and its surrounding communities. It has the potential to help us in developing a shared vision for our future. DMC is much more about what we will give than what we will get. As Rochester continues its long-standing history of innovative, strong medical care, we have the opportunity now to be strategic in our development.
I’m hopeful that through DMC, members of our community will think concretely about what it means to be a Destination Medical Center—what kinds of qualities/attributes do we most want to express as individuals? What kinds of qualities/attributes do we most hope Mayo Clinic and the Olmsted Medical Center (OMC) will express? What are the core values of a “destination medical center”?
I pray that DMC will be more about our community living, moving, and working with intention than about growth for the sake of growth.
DMC: What changes would you like to see in Rochester and its community in the next several years?
PC: I would love for there to be additional trainings/opportunities for community members to learn about ways to support and care for the people and families who are here for medical care. I would also hope to experience a continued commitment to Rochester being a place where diversity (in all its forms) is genuinely appreciated and affirmed. As DMC continues to develop, I hope to see an ongoing focus on how people “at the margins” are welcomed, valued, and provided for. In terms of the medical side of things, I hope to see Mayo and OMC continue to affirm and encourage openness to alternative therapies, meditation, and holistic healing methods. To me, these are core values of a destination medical center.
DMC: How can the Rochester community better welcome the thousands of people who visit yearly?
PC: I would love for this question to be something discussed widely in churches and businesses throughout our community. I believe a lot of being “welcoming” is about being aware. The more aware we are of the people in our midst, the better able we will be to love, support, and encourage them. I think that being welcoming is about a lot more than providing cool or interesting activities. It’s about the people of Rochester being authentically loving—even when it’s inconvenient. Even when we don’t feel like holding the elevator for an extra minute. Even when the line at a restaurant is really long. It’s about being patient and caring—ready to listen and support.
DMC: What makes you smile and feel good about Rochester?
PC: So many things! I love Rochester. I smile often. It is a gift to witness such diversity. I love that there are so many people in this community who deeply care! Great churches, a great newspaper, an amazing library, and so many wonderful businesses and business owners. Fun neighborhoods.
DMC: How would you describe Rochester in a few words?
PC: In process, comfortable, innovative, home, and supportive.
Read Pastor Emily’s original DMC column in the Post Bulletin here.