What does it take to plan a 150-year celebration like Mayo Clinic is doing?

The Sesquicentennial Planning Committee is chaired by Dr. Kerry D. Olsen and Matt Dacy, a 30-year Mayo staff member.

Olsen is a member of the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors, Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees and a surgeon in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. '

Dacy leads a very full schedule as Director of Heritage Hall in the Department of Development. And you'll find history well documented in Matthews Grand lobby on the street level of the Mayo Building. Planning didn't just start. A team of Mayo Clinic employees works constantly on this 150-year story from 1864 until today.

To commemorate its medical history and leadership role in health care, Mayo Clinic has created a mobile exhibit that will travel the country outlining the Mayo Clinic story and forecasting what lies ahead for the future of health care. The exhibit will launch in Dallas, Texas on April 15 and travel throughout the United States.

Looking ahead to Feb. 27 and 28, Dr. Richard Kogan, concert pianist and practicing psychiatrist will offer a concert illuminating the relationship between music and medicine. The Feb. 27 concert will be held at Rochester Civic Theatre at 7 p.m. "Music and the Mind" will feature the works of George Gershwin.

On Feb. 28, "The Mind and Music of Beethoven" will be held at noon in Phillips Hall, Siebens Building. These programs are sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine and the University of Minnesota Rochester.

For the past 12 years, pianist Jane Belau has presented music in the Nathan Landow Atrium of the Gonda Building subway level. Each Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until noon she is surrounded by singers from the clinic and any others who wish to join.

There's an abundance of show tunes, hymns, and other well-known favorites. It all happens in the shadow of that gigantic statue "Man in Freedom" by the Hungarian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. He and his family found freedom here after fleeing Russian tanks in the 1956 Hungarian uprising. These hours of music offer healing to hundreds who watch and listen.

In March, "The Women of Mayo" exhibit for Women's History Month will be held in the Hage Atrium, Siebens Building, subway level. This is also sponsored by the Center for Humanities in Medicine. It will feature the research of Virginia Wright Peterson. Ms. Peterson, an employee of Mayo Clinic is also a 1977 graduate of Mayo High School.

Tom Brokaw, former NBC Nightly News anchor and a member of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, will host a signature sesquicentennial event on May 9th in Rochester. The evening event will honor Mayo's past and look forward to its future through live performances and feature stories of people from the region, throughout the U.S. and around the globe whose lives were touched by Mayo. In addition Mayo Clinic will conduct public open houses at its Rochester, Jacksonville and Scottsdale campuses this summer.

I'll touch on other events, and there are several this year in upcoming columns. To learn more about Mayo Clinic's history, the future of health care and anniversary, go to 150years.mayoclinic.org.

Next week- I'll introduce Paul Widman, the new director of Rochester Parks and Recreation.

What's your reaction?