Keeping the Mayo competitive

The state should make investments to accommodate Mayo’s expansion.

Editorial board

 

Last month, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester announced plans for a 20-year, $5.6 billion expansion. Before the massive project can begin, the clinic is seeking $585 million from the state to improve the city’s infrastructure in order to better accommodate patients, the Minnesota Daily reported Feb. 26.

The Mayo is the state’s largest private employer and draws patients from around the globe each year. However, it faces tough competition from other medical field heavyweights, including Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Massachusetts General and the Cleveland Clinic, which are all contending for the nation’s top medical institution.

Earlier this month, Rep. Kim Norton, DFL-Rochester, proposed a bill to fund infrastructure upgrades around the clinic, citing the importance for continual development of Rochester to accommodate the growth of the Mayo Clinic. The rest of the state Legislature as well as Gov. Mark Dayton should support the bill and ensure that the state remains supportive of the Mayo Clinic and its ability to remain a world class medical institution in Minnesota for decades to come.

The Mayo plans to spend $3.5 billion over the next 20 years, according to a Star Tribune article published Sunday, and hopes to get another $2 billion in private investments to develop Rochester into a city with many more attractions to offer than just the clinic itself.

In order to keep up with the clinic’s rapid expansion and development projects, investments in public infrastructure are a must. Such investments should receive bipartisan support from the Legislature, as a facelift for Rochester will not be enough to accommodate for an influx of patients and tourists alike.