Mayo Clinic comes home to celebrate Tuesday with an internationally touring sesquicentennial exhibit that already has attracted mayors — and the governor of Arizona.
"Bring your family on this journey of hope and healing," says a video highlighting the traveling exhibit, which is housed in a 60-feet-long, 13-feet-tall big rig. The trailer is decorated in such a way that passing motorists can't miss that it's been 150 years since Dr. William Worrall Mayo, father of the Mayo brothers, first hung his shingle in Rochester.
"Traveling the nation's highways, it makes a huge impact,"said Mayo Rochester Heritage Hall Director Matt Dacy and Jeanne Klein, who coordinates Mayo Heritage Days events. "You can tell by the smiles, honks and waves from cars and trucks that pass by on the road."
Employees who visit the exhibit, titled "Mayo Clinic: 150 Years of Serving Humanity," "say things like 'This makes me proud to work at Mayo Clinic.' Patients say it reinforces the feeling of hope they experience at Mayo," the two history buffs said. "Kids say 'Wow!' which is great, since one of our goals is to inspire youth with a sense of excitement about careers in medical science."
The big rig expands like a giant version of an RV to offer 1,000 feet of display space.
The exhibit highlights Mayo's contribution to military medicine, from the Civil War through present-day prosthetic advancements, with a dramatic display of a wounded warrior.
The exhibit is categorized into the Essence of Mayo Clinic, Future of Medicine and Connect With Mayo Clinic (including ways for those who never set foot on a Mayo campus). Grateful Mayo patient Chip Davis, founder of Mannheim Steamroller, has allowed Mayo to use three of his songs, one for each room in the exhibit, "to set the mood in each zone."
"We have a large map that shows how Mayo Clinic is connected to literally every country on Earth," Dacy and Klein said. "From the South Pole to the top of Mount Everest, from beneath the ocean to outer space, Mayo has amazing projects underway."
The exhibit has been backed by benefactors, allowing Mayo to tell its story in a six-month journey across the United States and into Canada.
Starting Tuesday, the exhibit comes home to Rochester. It will be in the Peace Plaza near Mayo's Gonda Building (Second Avenue Southwest and First Street Southwest) and open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
"You'll be able to peer into the exciting future of health care and look inside yourself," the video says. "See the human body as never before."
The week's exhibit includes a capstone event Friday night with an invitation-only "Signature Event" at Mayo Civic Center's Taylor Auditorium, hosted by Mayo Board of Trustees member Tom Brokaw.
It will be, according to Mayo CEO Dr. John Noseworthy's invitation, a "milestone occasion" and a "special night unlike any other in Mayo Clinic history as we honor our past and explore our bright future."