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Mayo’s valet service meets positive response

After the staging for the ongoing construction as part of Mayo Clinic’s ongoing construction took away several handicap parking spaces, the apparent need for valet parking services has seen an uptick.

For patients with significant mobility challenges, losing parking spaces in close proximity to the front entrance of the hospital would have been burdensome. However, Mayo Clinic launched a complimentary valet service that used volunteers to help park patients’ cars and retrieve them once appointments are finished.

“We’re weren’t surprised,” said Kari Hall, volunteer coordinator and patient services supervisor at Mayo. “We received a lot of patient feedback after the handicap spaces were removed for the staging. We knew we needed to do something for those patients with significant mobility challenges. Once we started valet parking, the patients got really excited about it.”

Since the launch on Sept. 3, around 67 volunteers have parked 110 cars during business hours between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with six volunteers each working four-hour shifts. Hall mentioned that there was heavier parking activity during the mornings as there were more appointments scheduled earlier in the day.

A sign marks one of the parking spaces specifically for people making use of Mayo Health Systems —Austin valet parking. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

After the launch of valet services, Hall said that one of the things she plans to improve in the next couple months will be the number of volunteers who would be parking the cars.

“We’d probably want to add more volunteers,” she said. “Sometimes we see an influx of patients during the mornings, and it’d be beneficial to have more parking volunteers assist with the service. We will need to keep observing to see if we need more people or not.”

For those interested in volunteering, Hall said they need to be over the age of 18 and can reach out to her if they want to arrange a meeting to start volunteering for valet services.

Once construction on the link building is finished, the staging will then be moved to the back of the hospital and the handicap parking spaces that were in close proximity to the entrance of the building will be brought back. Whether valet services will continue after that portion of the expansion project is complete is still left in the air.

“We log every vehicle we parked,” Hall said. “Once the handicap parking spots return, we’ll look and see how often patients utilize the valet services even when the handicap spaces are back. Then, we’ll decide whether we continue on with this or not.”

If interested in volunteering for Mayo Clinic’s Valet Parking Services, contact Kari Hall at 507-434-1307 or by email at hall.kari@mayo.edu.