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Open house set for Mayo’s pediatric center

By Matt Russell

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Young children who typically had to go from building to building for X-rays, blood tests, and doctor appointments at Mayo Clinic will soon have a playfully decorated center where services are available in one spot.

The T. Denny Sanford Pediatric Center is expected to bring together physicians from 15 specialties, offering "one-stop shopping" for young patients, said Dr. Kenneth Mack, the outpatient center’s medical director.

The center on the 16th floor of the Mayo Building in downtown Rochester opens July 16. The public can get a sneak peek of the facility on Wednesday.

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With decor that plays off Minnesota wildlife and landscapes, the 48,000 square-foot center looks and feels much different than a typical clinical area. Beams in the lobby resemble birch trees, for example, and examination rooms and hallways include artwork that reflects Minnesota’s forest, prairie, lake and wetland landscapes.

"We really came back to nature as something that is healing and calming," said Dr. Jane Matsumoto, who headed the pediatric center’s planning task force.

A high point of the center’s design is the lobby’s glass "Discovery Wall," a nature-focused sculpture that changes colors to suggest the changing light of day.

"We’re trying to treat kids as kids and not as small adults," Mack said.

Major funding for the center came from $10 million out of a $15 million donation from benefactor T. Denny Sanford, said Mayo Clinic spokesman John Murphy. Sanford, a Minnesota native, lives in South Dakota and founded Premier Bankcard, a credit card company. Last year, Forbes ranked him as 117th on its list of the 400 richest Americans. Other donors helped pay for the project, Murphy added, but he didn’t give a total cost for the pediatric center.

Go & do

What: Open house at Mayo Clinic’s new T. Denny Sanford Pediatric Center.

When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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Where: The 16th floor of the Mayo Building, Second Street and Third Avenue Southwest.

What to expect: Tours run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and musical performances are scheduled throughout the day. The Minnesota Zoo’s "Zoomobile," which is expected to include animals native to Minnesota and some tropical bugs, will be outside the building on Annenberg Plaza from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oxbow Park and Zoo is also expected to bring animals to the plaza from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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