A $60 million donation from philanthropist Helene Houle of St. Paul will enable Mayo Clinic to accelerate its efforts to transform health care delivery in Minnesota, the clinic said in a news release today.

Mayo will name its recently completed hospital room tower on the Saint Marys Hospital campus after Houle's husband, the late John Nasseff.

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The family's relationship with Mayo Clinic began when Nasseff's youngest son, Arthur Nasseff, had life-saving surgery at Saint Marys Hospital in the 1960s when he was 16.

Nasseff and Houle have made several gifts to Mayo Clinic to honor Arthur's surgeon, Burton Onofrio, and other physicians who have cared for the family over seven decades.

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"John Nasseff and Helene Houle have had a significant impact on Mayo Clinic over the decades of their support," says Gianrico Farrugia, Mayo Clinic's president and CEO. "We are incredibly grateful to Ms. Houle for this generous gift, and we cannot think of a more fitting way to honor Mr. Nasseff."

The Nasseff Tower is the first building on the Saint Marys campus to be named after a patient.


Top Mayo Clinic one-time donations

  • $200 million - Birmingham, Mich., philanthropist and corporate strategist Jay Alix. 2018.

  • $100 million - Iowa businessman Richard O. Jacobson. 2011.

  • $67 million - Wisconsin philanthropists Robert and Patricia Kern. 2013

  • $60 million - St. Paul philanthropist Helene Houle. 2021

  • $45 million - Leslie and Susan Gonda. 1997.

List curated by reporter Jeff Kiger.