The Mayo Clinic – Franciscan relationship is an important part of Mayo Clinic’s history and success. This partnership originated in the 1880s, when Mother Alfred and other Franciscan Sisters who had settled in the community assisted in the care of people injured during a tornado that struck Rochester. Soon thereafter, Mother Alfred convinced Dr. W.W. Mayo that a hospital was needed in the community, and the Sisters would build the hospital, with the agreement that Dr. Mayo and his two sons would provide the physician staff.
Thus, the Mayo Franciscan partnership was born. As the Clinic grew into a world renowned medical center, the close working relationship between Mayo Clinic and the Franciscan Sisters was strong. The values that they espoused from the beginning of this unique partnership gave birth to the values-driven culture that embodies Mayo Clinic today. These Mayo/Franciscan core values, which support the primary value, the needs of the patient come first, are as important now as they have been during the first 150 years of Mayo’s history.
To protect and perpetuate the Franciscan Legacy of Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saints Marys Hospital Campus, and Mayo Clinic, an on-site annual Leadership Pilgrimage to Italy was initiated in 1997 and continues. The Mayo Clinic Values Council (MCVC) also has a “Virtual Pilgrimage” which is conducted on a Mayo Clinic campus. The objective of these Pilgrimage opportunities is to enhance one’s understanding of the Franciscan heritage, allowing a person to better integrate the Mayo/Franciscan values into their work unit and work-related activities.
Whether you will be a participant in the on-site Leadership Pilgrimage, the Virtual Pilgrimage, or want to develop a better understanding of the Franciscan history and heritage that is part of the Mayo Clinic-Franciscan relationship, we hope you find this library resource page to be of interest.
Robert D. Brown, Jr., MD, MPH
Director, Mayo Clinic Program in Professionalism and Values