Tag: Rochester

MPR News: Wanted: Workers to fill Rochester’s growing labor shortage

The high school kids in Aaron Davis’ construction tech class are busy helping build a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house that’s likely to be snapped up quickly in the Rochester area’s fast moving real estate market.

The same can also be said for Davis’ students. Market forces can’t wait for them to graduate. A recent state survey found nearly 500 construction positions available in southeastern Minnesota with some 8,000 total jobs open in a region with a minuscule 2.4 percent unemployment rate.

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Post-Bulletin: Rail proposal gets boost from DMC leader

ST. PAUL — A key Destination Medical Center leader voiced support today for an effort to build a privately funded high-speed rail line from Rochester to the Twin Cities.

Lisa Clarke, executive director of DMC’s Economic Development Agency, told a crowd of civic leaders gathered at Town and Country Club in St. Paul that improving the connection between Rochester and the Twin Cities is critical. That is especially the case as the $5.5 billion DMC initiative aimed at transforming Rochester into a global destination for health care moves ahead.

Chateau Memories — a third-generation Rochesterite reflects on her family’s role in construction and maintenance of the historic theater

Lifelong Rochester resident and Mayo Clinic employee Rebecca Peterson's family has unique ties to the Chateau Theater on Peace Plaza--her grandfather plastered the original cityscape inside the auditorium, and her father worked on a mid-century restoration.
Lifelong Rochester resident and Mayo Clinic employee Rebecca Peterson has unique ties to the Chateau Theater on Peace Plaza: Her grandfather plastered the original cityscape inside the auditorium, and her father worked on a mid-century restoration.

Rebecca Peterson reflects fondly on the one-of-a-kind auditorium inside the Chateau Dodge Theatre, wading into childhood memories of stars twinkling overhead as she and her siblings settled in for a Disney triple feature. That was about 40 years ago, when First Street was still open to downtown traffic and the Chateau Theatre was in the regular business of showing movies.

“I remember just sitting there looking up at the stars,” Peterson said. “I probably didn’t get much out of the movie at all.”

DMCC Board Meeting This Week

The Destination Medical Center Corporation Board of Directors meets from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, January 29 in the Riverview Room, Suite C of the Mayo Civic Center.

Agenda items include: formal transmittal of the Draft DMC Development Plan to the City of Rochester, a presentation from the Economic Development Agency Board and City, and a review of the DMC mission, vision, and goals.

The complete agenda and meeting packet is posted on our Events page at least 72 hours before scheduled meetings. It is also available here for download: DMCC Board Packet 1-29-2015

How to Attend

When: 9:30-noon on Thursday, January 29
In person: Mayo Civic Center, Riverview Room, Suite C
30 Civic Center Drive SE
Rochester, MN 55904
Online: Live streamTwitter, and the DMC Blog

Making Rochester a more livable city

“Livable City” is one of the 7 areas of focus for the Destination Medical Center initiative, but what does it mean? In a nutshell, livable cities are vibrant, welcoming and diverse, and offer places, services and amenities that appeal to a wide range of audiences.

In this week’s installment of “Gabe on the Street,” Gabriel talks with area residents and visitors about their vision for a more livable city. You can read more from our blog authors by searching “livable city” through the search box. And be sure to join the discussion by adding to the comments below.

Creativity and collaboration will help transform Rochester

Melissa Schmid, Blog Author

Ever since I moved to Rochester three years ago, I have thought that this city is a livable city with great potential to evolve. Rochester has so much to offer in terms of outdoor recreational activities along our bike trails and at our parks, shopping, dining, and a wide array of arts and cultural programs. I especially enjoy the downtown atmosphere – a hub of creativity where enthusiastic minds come together every day to innovate and infuse positive energy into our city. The downtown has become a community gathering place through events and festivals, work places, the care-giving of Mayo Clinic and a bustling economy that defines the vibrant personality of our livable city.

I spend a lot of time watching people interact in Rochester and tend to notice a genuine openness and generous spirit, which in my opinion are two characteristics a city must portray in order to be an inviting livable city. As we continue to build our city, embracing our core characteristics of creativity, collaboration, openness and generosity, we will transform Rochester into a more radiant gem for its residents to proudly call “home.”

Melissa Schmid is the events director for the Rochester Downtown Alliance.

What additions to Rochester do you feel would make it a more vibrant, livable city? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Rochester’s medical community: Great power, great responsibility

Shruthi Naik, PhD, Blog Author

The amount of brainpower concentrated within the Rochester area is staggering. Mayo Clinic’s remarkable achievements in delivering exemplary patient care have been heralded as a model to the country and the world. What is perhaps less known are the armies of scientists: biologists, chemists, engineers, statisticians, all dedicated to developing ideas that change the way we look at, understand, and treat disease.

Turning these ideas into reality, into companies and products that improve patient care, should be a key focus of DMC’s Commercial Research and technology initiative. It is our responsibility as a medical community to further innovations that improve patient care and these innovations in turn will build the local economy, create jobs and contribute to the DMC vision of making Rochester and Minnesota a Global center for healthcare.

“Easier said then done” is putting it lightly when it comes to describing the process of turning ideas into reality, especially in the area of biotechnology where product development is expensive, highly-regulated, and capital-intensive. Development of technologies to improve treatment of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other major diseases is imperative, and while we have the best minds in the world working to develop solutions, the transition of these technologies to patients remains arduous. Critical resources that I hope are part of DMC’s commercial research and technology initiative include improved access to commercial lab space, funding for early stage companies, and the legal, financial, clinical and regulatory expertise needed to facilitate this process.

I am excited about the ability to realistically build companies and develop groundbreaking new technologies in Rochester. There is an increasing awareness of the existing hurdles, a willingness to address them, and an emphasis on developing the resources and people needed to overcome them. To borrow a corny but appropriate superhero adage, the DMC vision highlights our great power, our innovative and dynamic community, and our great responsibility, to take on the challenge of applying these technologies to benefit Rochester and the lives of people worldwide.

Shruthi Naik, PhD, is a research fellow at Mayo Clinic and co-founder of Omnis Pharma, a biotech company dedicated to transforming cancer therapy through innovation.



A patient experience worth honking about

“It’s critical that we make the Rochester experience positive for patients and visitors — not just

Joe Powers (standing) and his staff serve up food and positive experiences at the Canadian Honker.
Joe Powers (standing) and his staff serve up food and positive experiences at the Canadian Honker.

inside Mayo, but everywhere in the community,” says Joe Powers, owner of The Canadian Honker Restaurant and Catering in Rochester.

Powers, a Rochester native, cultivates an environment where employees are mindful of the medical visitor experience. “You never know what the customer may be going through,” he says. An estimated 50 percent to 60 percent of The Canadian Honker’s customers are Mayo patients and their families. “Sometimes, they come in with heavy hearts; they are going through difficult times. Our employees are conscious of the big picture and the importance of offering food for the soul.”

Outside of Mayo Clinic, the patient experience needs to be embracing and uplifting, according to Powers. “Mayo does a great job within their environment,” he says. “The outside is where all of us can also make a difference. Tourist communities work hard for visitors to have a positive experience. Mayo shouldn’t have to take care of that experience alone. As a community, we want all of our visitors to go back and talk about the good experience they had while visiting.”

Because of its location across from Saint Marys Hospital, the Canadian Honker becomes a home away from home for many patients and their families from all over the world. Restaurant staff often become extended family to many medical visitors — with the all-important warm smile, offering hugs and a listening ear when needed. Because many patients stay for weeks, staff have forged friendships.

“There are many heartwarming stories about hospitality making a difference in patient experience,” says Powers. “Sometimes that’s the best medicine of all.” His managers have been through Certified Tourist Ambassador (CTA) training and can provide accurate information about lodging, transportation and recreation to visitors. The Canadian Honker also features gluten-free options and other dietetically sensitive offerings, such as low-salt, low-fat and sugar-free foods that patients might require.

According to Powers, Mayo has partnered well with the community in patient experience efforts. “Mayo realized that all the partners in the hospitality sector are very important,” he says. “They opened up their arms to us, and have engaged the community as part of Destination Medical Center (DMC). Together, we will make our system stronger all the way around.”

From Powers’ perspective, transportation, roads and parks will be significant for DMC, along with city beautification and the arts. “Building the world’s premier destination medical community will require lots of options for visitors,” he says. Around the world, medical tourism is increasing in focus and competition. “Rochester and Minnesota have an advantage and can build upon the Mayo Clinic brand strength and reputation of excellence. Our community is poised and ready to embrace the growth.”

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.

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.