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Mayo OKs $92.7M for buildings, equipment

By Christopher Snowbeck

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Mayo Clinic announced Tuesday a plan for spending $92.7 million on facilities and equipment that includes more private rooms in Rochester, better roads near its hospital in Florida and a new airplane for transporting patients.

The spending plan was approved in November by the board of directors at Mayo, which routinely makes large infrastructure investments across its six-state network of hospitals and clinics.

The plan announced Tuesday includes seven sizable projects, with four focused on hospital operations in Rochester. Of those, the largest is an expansion to the St. Marys campus that will help make all hospital rooms in Rochester private, rather than dual-occupancy, said Dr. Amy Williams, the medical director of hospital operations.

“All rooms would be private rooms with private showers and private bathrooms, and [would be] much bigger so that family members could stay overnight in the room with the patient,” Williams said. “We also have been looking at improving our efficiency here at our hospital campuses in Rochester, and this is a big step forward.”

Mayo Clinic operates one of the most prominent health systems in the country, and is one of Minnesota’s largest employers.

At the end of 2014, the clinic had $438 million in construction projects that were underway; at that time, completion was expected in three to four years.

The $92.7 million in spending announced Tuesday is in addition to those investments, clinic officials said.

With the new plan, Mayo will build two “hybrid” operating rooms at St. Marys that combine surgery with radiology imaging for less-invasive operations. At the Methodist campus, Mayo is building 14 operating rooms while modernizing a floor of patient rooms.

Construction in Rochester will begin this year, with completion expected in 2017.

In Florida, Mayo Clinic is funding traffic studies and negotiating with the Florida Department of Transportation for a project to improve highway access to its Jacksonville hospital.

In Eau Claire, Wis., Mayo Clinic is building out existing shell space at its Luther Building to replace 40 inpatient rooms that were built in the 1970s.

Its medical transport division is buying a Beechcraft King Air model B350C fixed-wing airplane. The new plane will be leased and operated by Mayo Clinic, and replaces a plane that is currently operated by a non-Mayo aviation team, said Mayo Clinic spokeswoman Susan Barber-Lindquist.

The aircraft will “provide emergency care and transportation for patients and possibly time-critical organs awaiting transplant,” the clinic said in a statement.

It is scheduled to be in service by the third quarter of 2016.

—Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.