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Mayo leaders announce $30,000 'shared value' grant

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Rita Duda , left, and John Wade of Clements Chevrolet Cadillac go over ideas for economic opportunities from community leaders Wednesday, April 20, 2016, during the Community Partner Expo at the Historic Chateau Theatre in downtown Rochester.
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To encourage collaboration to solve local problems, Mayo Clinic announced a new $30,000 annual grant at its community luncheon event Wednesday.

Martha Cashman, Mayo Clinic's director of community relations, told the invited crowd of almost 200 about the new Mayo Clinic Shared Value Award.

She explained that the grant is designed to support partnerships of three or more local groups coming together to address "a complex social challenge impacting health and vibrancy in Olmsted County." The groups must include at least one tax-exempt organization to serve as fiscal agent for the project.

Specifically, the proposed project should "directly or indirectly" help with problems listed as priorities in the Olmsted County Health Needs Assessment. That includes mental health issues, obesity, diabetes, homelessness/poverty and vaccine-preventable diseases.

The deadline to apply to Mayo Clinic for this year's Shared Value Award is June 30. The award recipient will be announced in November.

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The new grant was announced at Mayo Clinic's "refresh" of its annual community gathering. For more than 20 years, Mayo Clinic has hosted an invitation-only community breakfast on its campus to discuss its progress. It shifted to a more open and accessible event this year.

Mayo Clinic Chief Executive Officer and President John Noseworthy told the gathered crowd in the Historic Chateau Theater that the change from a breakfast to a lunch event just makes sense.

"We bring out trustees to Mayo Clinic four times a year. It took us a while to figure out that the summer meeting should be in Rochester and winter ones should be in Scottsdale and Jacksonville," he said with a chuckle. "Likewise, it took us a while to figure out that lunch is better than breakfast. Better late than never."

Cashman explained earlier that moving the event from early morning to noon made it easier for community groups to attend. Mayo Clinic also added a community expo feature to the event. After the formal presentation to the invited local leaders, the doors were opened to the general public for the expo.

During his time at the podium, Noseworthy discussed Destination Medical Center as well as Mayo Clinic's 2015 numbers.

"We are bullish about DMC. You know that. I'm not bringing up 47 states ever again," he said referencing previous controversial statements he made as the Minnesota legislature debated DMC. He said other states would be "eager" to have Mayo Clinic's project.

Noseworthy quickly followed his "47 states" quip by saying, "We are pleased to be in Minnesota. We are pleased to be in Rochester."

He also mentioned DMC's progress, which some have criticized as being slow to happen.

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"I wish I could tell you some of things I know that are about to happen, but I can't. Trust in the process," said Noseworthy. "Everything is on schedule."

Mayo Clinic has invested about 85 percent of the $152 million required by the DMC legislation, he added.

Noseworthy also said that Mayo Clinic is spending $1.5 billion on its electronic health records project, much of it with Wisconsin-based Epic Systems.

"This is the largest technology project we've done at Mayo Clinic. That's very expensive, but we'll … be fine," he said.

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Dr. John Noseworthy

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