ROCHESTER — Mayo Clinic officials are reiterating their plans to invest in the medical giant’s hometown after threatening to move $4 billion in planned investment out of Minnesota during this year’s legislative session.
Erin Sexton, director of community engagement at Mayo Clinic, told the Destination Medical Center (DMC) board of directors at a meeting Thursday that Mayo is determining the next steps for what she called a “multi-year strategic initiative” that could “transform health care from with a focus on Rochester”.
“And that includes envisioning new and renovated spaces to meet the needs of our patients now and for generations to come,” Sexton said, though she did not outline specific plans.
DMC President Pamela Wheelock said local officials look forward to further discussions about May’s impact on Rochester once concrete plans are made public.
Maio reportedly wants to invest more than $4 billion in Minnesota, which has become a sticking point in the debate over two state bills that the medical giant opposed during the legislative session related to nurse staffing and the health care affordability board.
Minnesota lawmakers later exempted Mayo from a law that requires hospital committees representing nurses and executives to agree on a minimum number of nurses on hospital units. Maio argued that his automated recruitment system could make decisions faster than the board and be more responsive to health care needs in communities.
“We remain committed to looking at how we can help support our nurses, support our staff with the things that make their jobs difficult,” Sexton said.
Also Thursday, Mayo surgical workers petitioned hospital management over staffing concerns, excessive mandatory overtime and a lack of breaks and training, among other grievances. The petition was signed by nearly 300 union and non-union workers — more than half of the department’s roughly 400 people.
“Every time we’ve met with the employer about this, we’ve hit a brick wall,” union representative Hallie Wallace said at a news conference.
Workers hope to meet May’s leadership by June 1 to discuss solutions, which could include pay rises and bonuses.
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