Mayo Clinic announces $5 billion expansion project

Mayo Clinic Announces $5B Expansion

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(ABC 6 News) – Mayo Clinic has announced an expansive addition to their Rochester facilities, as part of their “Bold. Forward. Unbound” initiative.

“A $5 billion dollar investment, our biggest, our most ambitious,” said Gianrico Farrugia, President and CEO of Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic has officially announced it’s largest investment in it’s 160 year history. $5 billion dollars will go into their campus in Rochester over the next six years to expand patient care.

“In this time there is no more important place on the planet and no more important work being done for humanity then is being done in this spot in Rochester, Minnesota,” said Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, one of the event’s featured speakers.

The plan was first proposed at the beginning of June, and now with approval from Mayo’s Board of Trustees, officials say the large expansion will prioritize patient care above all else.

“Bold, Forward, Unbound in Rochester is an investment in the transformation of medicine,” said Dr. Craig Daniels, Physician Leader of Bold. Forward. Unbound. “Accomplished through designing the spaces that are infused with the technologies to empower our care teams to further improve patient care.”

The plan was first proposed at the beginning of June, and now with approval from Mayo’s Board of Trustees, officials say the large expansion will prioritize patient care above all else.

Construction of new buildings at the facility will include approximately 2.4 million square feet of space, as part of an effort to improve patient care. These planned structural and architectural components are designed to allow for future expansion at the facility.

“That great adage about hockey. Mayo Clinic is skating where the puck is going to be not where it is. Minnesota is there on that. Understanding to the board of trustees,” added Governor Walz. “These decisions on emotion alone. They are made on where the best place is to do that research. And it does, it’s not lost on myself, my administration, on the people of Minnesota. You chose to make that investment in Rochester, Minnesota.”

“Mayo Clinic is projecting and planning for the next era of care by designing intentionally flexible facilities built to adapt and change to meet the needs of the next 100 years,” says Bridget Avikainen, associate administrator for Bold. Forward. Unbound. in Rochester. 

The expansion will also provide about 1,000 more parking spaces downtown.

But there are still some unanswered questions. This spring, Mayo executives told lawmakers that they would withdraw investments in the state if the controversial “Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act” had passed with its original language.

When asked by a reporter following the announcement, Mayo Clinic Executive Dean of Practice, Amy Williams, M.D. responded saying, “I don’t know if I can answer that.”

Williams did speak about the future of technological investments with Mayo Clinic, specifically A.I.

As part of this plan, Mayo will look at how to utilize artificial intelligence to help employees, and patients.

It’s a topic many workplaces are facing going into 2024. Some people worry the use of A.I. In medicine could impact the roles people have within Mayo and how they work with patients.

Mayo and the future of AI

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But Williams, says that will not be the case at all, “There’s a lot of conversation about that and again, the robotics, automation, generative A.I., etc. It is to support the staff, it’s not to replace the staff. The skills that they have and how they care for patients. Right now, I don’t see automation that can do that.”

One thing Mayo officials did talk about was the construction timeline, which is expected to start early next year. The first part of construction for Bold. Forward. Unbound will begin with the demolishment of the former 5th Avenue Inn and Suites in early 2024.

“You’ll start to see that we’re doing some things to improve the patient arrival experience . Things that you might not notice above ground, but improvements to our subway and the connections underground to improve the system of arrival. Including the east Gonda entrance soon,” added Dr. Daniels.

Mayo Clinic plans to move forward through a first-of-its-kind feature in a healthcare facility, due to what they are calling a “flexible grid.” In Mayo Clinic’s new clinical buildings there will be specific spaces or even entire floors capable of shifting from a patient room to operating room or even to a diagnostic imaging suite as a patient’s needs change.

Mayo: Bold. Forward. Unbound. full announcement

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A large portion of the new construction will be for two new clinical buildings located at the center of the Rochester campus.

Both buildings are planned to stand nine floors high — 221 feet tall. These buildings will be designed to accommodate up to 420 feet of expansion.

An additional five floors of the new facilities located at the Damon and Ozmun sites will connect directly to the Gonda Building.

This includes a two-story skybridge, connecting the new buildings at the Gonda Building’s 10th floor.  

Additionally, a new logistics center is planned for the former Lourdes High School site. The center is being designed to accommodate more long-term growth adding more clinical space for patient care. 

Currently there are plans to connect the clinical center via tunnel to the new logistics buildings. The logistics center will feature innovative technologies like robotics, automation, predictive analytics, speakers claimed.

“With today’s announcement, Mayo Clinic is deepening its roots and expanding its branches throughout our community,” said Rochester mayor Kim Norton. “I also can’t help but get excited about what this means for Rochester beyond healthcare. Looking at the size and scale of this transformation to come. The economic benefit this project is going to bring to our community is ‘unbound.'”

To help ease the burden Mayo Clinic staff faces, there are 1,000 incremental parking spots that will be added to the Rochester downtown area. This, combined with the City of Rochester’s planned Rapid Transit system, set to launch in 2026, will allow for easier access for the clinic’s approximately 41,000 employees, according to speakers Tuesday.

Work is underway with the City of Rochester across the Rochester campus, with more significant construction will begin in early 2024. A multiyear construction timeline has the goal of opening some facilities as early as 2028, with the project expected to be completed by 2030.