Our View: Mayo Clinic’s growth is good news for Rochester and state

November 29, 2018

The old saying was that what’s good for Mayo Clinic is good for Rochester.

But Mayo has become so large and important that we can now say what’s good for Mayo Clinic is good for Minnesota. The Clinic, after all, is the state’s largest private employer.

In that regard, the report that Mayo’s revenue jumped 19 percent in 2017 is the definition of good news for the entire state.

According to the financial forms Mayo filed with the IRS, revenue in 2017 increased by $6.14 billion, or 19 percent. That resulted in an operating margin of 5 percent, better than other medical institutions in the state, and comparable to major medical centers nationwide.

We can go on and on about the details of the financial figures, but collectively they add up to this: Mayo Clinic is not only healthy, it is growing. As we said, that’s good for Rochester and Minnesota. Mayo continues to be an enormous economic engine — and it is expanding.

But growth, as we’ve all found out in recent years, comes with major challenges. City, state, regional and Mayo officials are attempting to ease and solve some of those issues, in large part under the Destination Medical Center umbrella.

One health care expert, Daniel P. McLaughlin, of St. Thomas University, said Mayo’s growth report validates the Destination Medical Center strategy. That’s great as far as it goes. But the community is still left with the challenges of that growth: housing and transportation, recruiting workforce, retaining workforce, and a providing a host of services, including schools, parks and attractions.

Mayo Clinic has a role to play in solving or at least easing those issues. But Destination Medical Center, contrary to what some believe, does not exist merely to serve the clinic — it needs to be a region-wide effort to be successful.

The alternative to growth, of course, is stagnation. With Mayo Clinic in the vanguard, stagnation does not appear to be an issue.

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