Answer Man: Yes, Mayo Jacksonville has a 'destination' project

This obviously isn't a building planned for Mayo Rochester -- it's a "destination medical building" for Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. It's part of a $100 million expansion that's intended to make Mayo Jacksonville the "destination medical center" for the southeastern United States.

Dear Answer Man, does Mayo Clinic have a "destination medical center" project going in Jacksonville, Fla., too?

Not really, but the CEO of Mayo's Jacksonville campus has used the phrase recently for the $100 million in new construction underway there.

According to the Jacksonville Business Journal , Dr. Gianrico Farrugia"said work on the 150,000-square-foot destination medical center will have just under a two-year timeline, with the projected completion being summer 2018."

A spokesman told one of my associates Thursday that construction will begin next month.

The four-story building will be built to handle another 11 stories, if Mayo feels the need, and it will handle about 125,000 patients in its first year. Also part of the investment in Jacksonville is a PET radiochemistry facility.


Farrugia has said the expansion will "build up Mayo Clinic's medical tourism and attract a regional, national and international reach," and more expansion plans could be announced by year end.

"Farrugia said the potential for growing Mayo's medical tourism footprint is huge, and that there are about 37 million people that live within an hour's flight of Jacksonville who can not just visit Mayo, but other hospitals in Jacksonville," according to the Business Journal. "He said the aim is to make Jacksonville a 'southeastern hub' for medical treatment."

Maybe so, but what puts Mayo Rochester's DMC into a whole 'nother league is the way it leverages nearly $600 million in public money over 20 years with the clinic's investment of roughly $3 billion. That's supposed to spur a like amount in private development.

A Mayo spokesman told my I-Team member there's no public money involved in the Jacksonville project.

LEDing the way

As you know if you read this column every day , which is an excellent mental-hygiene habit to be in, you know that Xcel Energy is planning to change out the street lights in dozens of area towns to more efficient LED lights.

A helpful Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman in Rochester tells me they're doing the same thing. "Last year, MnDOT installed 393 LED fixtures on Highway 52 and 212 fixtures on I-35. Additional LEDs have been installed as replacements elsewhere, and it's the standard in new construction projects such as the Highway 52-Goodhue County Road 9 interchange south of Cannon Falls and the U.S. Highway 14 roundabout at Minneosta Highway 42 near Eyota."

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