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Networking Event Strives to Make Mayo More Inclusive

Created: 09/02/2014 11:22 PM KAALtv.com
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- Patients from all over the world travel to Rochester for the Mayo Clinic. This makes the ability to care for people of different languages and backgrounds vital. Mayo held its first Hispanic networking event tonight, where employees addressed needs moving forward.

"There's over 30 different native languages spoken by Mayo Clinic employees, people come from all over the world. I came from Spain myself, I’ve been here 15 years,” said Dr. Mikel Prieto, Mayo Clinic.

25% of Mayo Clinic's new recruits are physicians who graduated from a foreign medical school. "What we really do need going forward to better care for our patients is everyone to be involved,” said Dr. Sharonne Hayes, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Mayo Clinic.

The goal of Tuesday’s Latino and Hispanic networking session was to create a community and spark ideas. "Our U.S. Hispanic patient base is increasing significantly each year,” said Hayes. "It's important not to just have diversity, but to develop our diverse talent in the workforce, making sure that they get ahead and we can retain them, so that they bring their best self to work every day,” she added.

"We get about 9,000 patients from 140 different countries all come to Rochester and are a part of our community,” said Prieto. So moving forward with Destination Medical Center on the horizon, employees say the time is now, to create an even more inclusive environment for future patients.

"This is a great place to basically create this multinational, multiethnic community and that reflects at the end, in the care that we provide our patients,” said Prieto.