Providing a nonpartisan model for generating and sharing          

    essential information on public issues and proposed solutions              

Shining a light on Minnesota public policy since 2005

                                                                                                  About Civic Caucus   l   Interviews & Responses  l   Position Reports   l   Contact Us   l   Home  

 Response Page - Senjem / Murphy  Interview -      
                                                      Please take one minute to evaluate our website. Click here to take the survey.

These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
David Senjem / John Murphy  Interview of

Expansion key to Mayo's and state's competitiveness


Minnesota State Senator David Senjem and Mayo Clinic's John Murphy say that it was Mayo Clinic's and Rochester's visions and future plans that convinced the 2013 Legislature to pass a law creating Destination Medical Center (DMC), the largest economic development effort in Minnesota and one of the largest in the country. In today's competitive health care environment, Senjem and Murphy say, Mayo Clinic's continued success and growth in Minnesota depends on Rochester's ability to sustain the access, development, service and public infrastructure necessary to remain competitive with other destination medical centers.

The DMC project will bring over $5.6 billion in private investment in Rochester over the next 20 years, along with public investment of $585 million from state and local jurisdictions. It seeks to create at least 35,000 new jobs. Senjem stresses that none of the public dollars will be used to pay for Mayo buildings or programs. Instead, it will be used for the infrastructure investment necessary to support Mayo's expansion plans and the growth of hotels, restaurants and other amenities and services in Rochester.

Murphy points out that DMC is an economic development plan and does not address the affordability of health care. However, Senjem adds, if Mayo is going to grow, it must continue to focus on the efficiency and quality of health care. He concludes that DMC is a wise investment for Minnesota that will change the face of downtown Rochester and ensure that Mayo will continue to be embedded there.

For the complete interview summary see: Senjem/Murphy interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readersí zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (7.8 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (8.8 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

3. Mayo must expand to compete. (8.3 average response) Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, needs major expansion over the next 20 years if it is to remain competitive nationally and globally.

4. State must participate. (7.8 average response) Financial investment by the state of Minnesota is essential for Mayo-Rochester to remain a global medical destination now and in the future.

5. Mayo's competitiveness benefits MN. (8.5 average response) Keeping Mayo-Rochester competitive will enhance Minnesota's overall economic competitiveness.

6. Affordability of care irrelevant. (2.3 average response) Making health care more affordable need not be a factor in evaluating the Mayo-Rochester plan.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree


Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.







2. Further study warranted.







3. Mayo must expand to compete.







4. State must participate.







5. Mayo's competitiveness benefits MN.







6. Affordability of care irrelevant.







Individual Responses:

Ray Ayotte (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (2.5)

Anonymous (7.5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (5)

Marlys Jax (5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (7.5) (0)

1. Topic is of value. Is there an avenue of public/civic input as the project moves forward? I would not want this project to be just about economic development. It needs to be a comprehensive overview looking at the "common good". There is social infrastructure, lifestyle and culture, ecological and environmental impacts to be of concern.

2. Further study warranted. I wonder why we have not heard a word about the impact on the geographic region of SE Minnesota? Key in this whole story is how transportation, schools and small towns will have to bear the burden of increased population, law enforcement, roads, etc.?

3. Mayo must expand to compete. Competitive is one thing. But we have to involve government, also grass roots, non-profits and for-profits, collaboration with other entities.

6. Affordability of care irrelevant. Why would the locals want to support DMC if it is costing them more?

Dave Broden (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (2.5)

1. Topic is of value. The interview provided the best clarity and understanding of the purpose and value of the Rochester/Mayo project and most importantly perhaps the way that funding is to be linked to projects.

2. Further study warranted. Yes. Several approaches to the plan as it evolves. It would be good to interview someone from the planning board as it evolves, also perhaps [to have] some tracking of progress over time. A third idea would be to interview non-medical business and transportation areas for how they are coordinating the activity.

3. Mayo must expand to compete. There are perhaps two topics in this question. Expand, yes, to provide ease of medical service and specialized medical service access. This can be done by physical expansion and by digital access expansion. Second is the need to continually evolve the "medical best practices" to keep ahead and lead the state of the art; this requires growth in technology and services.

4. State must participate. The Mayo-Rochester system is central to the fabric of Minnesota, as a health care leader, as a quality-of-life state, as a highly skilled workforce. Maintaining and building on this link to the integrity of Minnesota must remain central to the investment focus of the state. A global medical destination builds competitive advantage in many ways and should remain [a] central component of the Minnesota brand.

5. Mayo's competitiveness benefits MN. Mayo-Rochester is one of the centerpieces of the Minnesota brand message. Building Rochester-Mayo will enhance competiveness not only in direct medical services but also in the related fields of medical devices, medical pharmaceuticals, education, and the thrust of a vision directed to the future.

6. Affordability of care irrelevant. This is a rather strange question. The key word here is "affordability". Discussions often get hung up on this word in any technology or business discussion. Before using the word "affordable", it is important to put some parameters to the meaning of the word. What is affordable to one person may be excessive to another. Affordability should be in all discussions but only if well defined for the particular discussion.

Don Anderson (5) (5) (7.5) (5) (7.5) (2.5)

Art Rolnick (0) (10) (5) (0) (0) (0)

2. Further study warranted. I would be happy to debate Senator Senjem on the economics of this issue.

3. Mayo must expand to compete. This is Mayo's business decision to make or not to make.

4. State must participate. I repeat, this is Mayo's business decision to make or not to make

5. Mayo's competitiveness benefits MN. Educating our children will enhance Minnesota's competiveness. There is no better investment. Using public money to invest in private businesses has been proven again and again to yield very little, if any, public benefits. If Mayo's expansion is a good investment, the market will provide the funding.

Bright Dornblaser (10) (7) (10) (10) (10) (3)

Chuck Lutz (9) (9) (10) (10) (10) (7)

James Fuller (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)


Wayne Jennings (10) (7) (9) (9) (10) (1)

This exciting project builds on a medical legacy and encourages growth of related businesses and education programs. Iím all for it, and their rationale makes sense.

William Kuisle (7) (7) (8) (7) (7) (4)

Trent Fluegel, Larry Gates, Jeff Gorfine, Dean Harrington
We are sending this attachment to The Civic Caucus for the following reasons:

1) To comment on the interview you did with Sen. David Senjem and John Murphy of Mayo Clinic regarding "Expansion Key to Mayo's and State's Competitiveness."

2) We believe the suggestion we are making about the planning of a major joint venture between the State, Rochester/Olmsted County, and a private, non-profit corporation is pertinent to the Caucus's focus on Minnesota's long-term economic competitiveness, especially as it pertains to "reviewing the balance between investments made and value received."

3) To inform you that a group of regional citizens/organizations are trying to come together to make a collective request to the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) and the DMC Economic Development Agency (DMC-EDA) to have discussions with them concerning how the need for regional planning is essential, though it may not be prescribed as part of their primary missions, purposes, and objectives.

4) Regional planning is essential, a sine qua non, if the social, economic, and environmental impacts coming out of the 20-25 years of DMC growth and development are to receive their fair, just, and due consideration. The investments made in DMC will absolutely show dividends and bring value, albeit with a cost, to every township, small town, city and county in southeast Minnesota.

5) DMC is not only considered the state's largest-ever economic development project but also " of the largest economic development programs by any state in the history of this country, in terms of money."

6) It follows then, at least in terms of money, that an equitable proportion of DMC planning money (i.e., a proportion which would get this long-term regional planning job done and done well) ought to be utilized over the next 20-25 years to ensure a rigorous and viable regional planning process is developed, implemented, and supported in order to objectively account for and work through the varied impacts growing out of DMC development.

7) Considering that "80% of Mayo's patients come from within 120 miles of Rochester"; and considering "that Mayo employees live in 60-some of Minnesota's 87 counties"; and considering "that 56,000 employees come into Rochester every day, not all to Mayo, but largely because of the influence of Mayo" - it would certainly be the right thing, the commonsense and practical thing for the leadership of DMCC and the DMC EDA (and really all local, regional, and state leadership) to own and act upon their responsibilities, obligations, and duties to make certain that regional planning is substantially part-and-parcel of the work plan to develop the DMC.

Our intention is not to circumvent or undermine the planning necessary for the success of DMC, but rather to proffer an avenue for enriching its course toward future prosperity. We genuinely want to work hand-in-glove with the DMC venture. We feel we are being presented with a golden opportunity and are embarking on an exciting adventure: To find a way to meet the regional realities that will flow out of this groundbreaking economic development project in a cost-inclusive and cost-effective manner. And by so doing, establish a strong and secure base of regional preparedness that could very well help us:

1) "Document the degree and significance of critical environmental, economic, and social impacts associated with (DMC) development with a special attention toward the cumulative effects of impacts and causes of impacts;

2) Evaluate the strategies and alternatives being used to address impacts in order to generate an understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, inherent trade-offs, and unintended consequences of different development policies and practices; and

3) Generate recommendations on actions that can increase the benefits and reduce the detrimental effects of (DMC) development..." (quoted from the Final Scoping Document of the Environmental Quality Board on Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Urban Development, December 21, 2000) 

 May we all thrive in the doing.

Sincerely yours,  

Trent Fluegel, Rochester - Larry Gates, Kellogg  - Jeff Gorfine, Rochester - Dean Harrington, Plainview
Attachment: Will the DMC Be a Widespread Phenomenon.pdf


Scott Halstead  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (0)

2. Further study warranted. There should be regular reporting on this project to ensure it is on track and the public is well informed of the actual status.

3. Mayo must expand to compete. The Mayo Clinic could expand in many locations and will.  The importance to Minnesota is having Rochester being the headquarters, research leader and operation leader for their entire medical network.

4. State must participate. Minnesota needs to participate and support in the infrastructure of this project.  Likewise it needs to be very careful to utilize practical means that make sense economically.  The Mayo Clinics facilities and downtown Rochester is a very small area and cost effective methods of moving people are going to be necessary.  The Mayo Clinic needs to consider work scheduling outside of the normal day shift for staff that doesn't directly support customer care.  Need to consider elevated/tunneled exclusive use of transit such as the U of Main campus/Ag. campus.  There needs to be support businesses adjacent to parking facilities.

5. Mayo's competitiveness benefits MN. At some point, Mayo will need to construct new campuses because it will not make economic sense to function in a postage stamp space.

6. Affordability of care irrelevant. The Mayo Clinic is going to have to be a leader in affordable care with high quality results.


The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (coordinator), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie, Dan Loritz (chair),
Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman

The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

contact webmaster



Hit Counter