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Continued: Schafer: A thriving Rochester is Mayo Clinic's only option

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 10, 2013 - 2:19 PM

And talk about infrastructure, one of the first major projects in the recent renaissance of the neighborhood that includes the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus was the $200 million reconstruction of Euclid Avenue, a main thoroughfare. It included a dedicated lane for bus rapid transit called the HealthLine.

It’s a similar story in Baltimore, with a massive redevelopment project on the edge of the Johns Hopkins Medicine main campus, funded in part with state, local and philanthropic money.

Stephen Parente, a professor of health finance at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, described himself as “kind of impressed by the audacity” of Mayo’s proposal. But maybe it’s not audacious enough.

The competition in the rare­fied air of global medical centers is increasingly intense, he said. A conversation among state leaders concerned about Mayo’s future could be far broader than funding streets and parking garages in Rochester.

How about high-speed rail service from the Twin Cities? Or laying the foundation for a technology corridor that extends from the Twin Cities all the way into southeastern Minnesota?

Maybe it would surprise cautious Minnesotans, he said, that a plan to publicly fund such concepts would not be considered far-fetched in some other states or regions.

“There are a number of competing communities that don’t have a Mayo and would love to have the opportunity that a Mayo presents,” Parente said. “And they are thinking bigger.”

lee.schafer@startribune.com • 612-673-4302

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  • A bronze statue of Dr. William J. Mayo and Dr Charles H. Mayo titles "My Brother and I" outside the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The brothers, along with their father, Dr. William Mayo, built the Mayo Clinic.

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