Mayo Clinic ceremonially closed the 4,000-pound bronze Plummer Building doors in downtown Rochester this afternoon to kick off a $100 million initiative "to eliminate racism and advance equity and inclusion within Mayo Clinic."

A letter was sent by CEO Dr. Gianrico Farrugia and Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Bolton to employees explaining that the closure is “a gesture to demonstrate that Mayo Clinic is closing the door on racism” to mark the start of the new anti-racism campaign.

Mayo describes some of the goals of the initiative as follows:

  • "Increase diverse recruitment of investigators and clinical trial participants to strengthen Mayo Clinic's research mission, using an additional allocation of $3 million per year.
  • Increase recruitment and retention of physicians, nurses and supervisors from underrepresented groups and build an inclusive environment for staff, learners and patients, using an additional allocation of $5 million per year.
  • Leverage digital and telehealth technology to improve equitable health outcomes across the nation While Mayo Clinic has increasingly expanded its reach to address health disparities in the communities it serves, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the social, economic and health disadvantages that exist in minority communities.
  • Address conscious and unconscious racism within the organization.
  • Invest in increasing the diversity of our patient population, with a particular emphasis on patients from the Black community.
  • Provide staff with meaningful community service activities, and ways to get personally engaged."

When the doors reopen at 11 a.m. Thursday “to a more equitable and inclusive future at Mayo Clinic," more information will be released about the initiative at a virtual event, according to the letter.

The last time the doors closed was on Oct. 18, 2016, in honor of Sister Generose Gervais’ death.

Previous closures

The 4,000-pound ornamental bronze doors on Mayo Clinic’s Plummer Building have been ceremonially closed for significant events in the past 92 years.

  • 1939: They closed when each of the Mayo brothers died.
  • 1963: They closed to memorialize the death of President John F. Kennedy.
  • September 2001: The doors were closed to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
  • Jan. 9, 2012: The doors were closed in memory of a Mayo Clinic helicopter crew of three who died in a December 2011 crash.
  • Oct. 18, 2016: They were closed in honor of Sister Generose Gervais’ death.

The doors to the Plummer Building are closed as a gesture to demonstrate that Mayo Clinic is closing the door on racism on Wednesday,  July 29, 2020, in at Mayo Clinic in downtown Rochester. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)
The doors to the Plummer Building are closed as a gesture to demonstrate that Mayo Clinic is closing the door on racism on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in at Mayo Clinic in downtown Rochester. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)

The doors to the Plummer Building are closed as a gesture to demonstrate that Mayo Clinic is closing the door on racism on Wednesday,  July 29, 2020, in at Mayo Clinic in downtown Rochester. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)
The doors to the Plummer Building are closed as a gesture to demonstrate that Mayo Clinic is closing the door on racism on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in at Mayo Clinic in downtown Rochester. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)