Author Archive

Get on the Target Field Jumbotron with your health tip!

February 2, 2011

Mayo Clinic and the Minnesota Twins are teaming up again this season to help improve the health of Twins fans. And this time, we want to know how you and your families stay healthy. Enter our video contest for a chance to win four tickets to a Twins game at Target Field to see your video on the Jumbotron. Here’s how the contest works:

  1. Make a cool video! Create a 20 second video clip about your favorite way to stay healthy, then upload it to the Video Contest tab on the Mayo Clinic Facebook page by March 1. More than 50 videos have been entered so far.
  2. Tell your friends! Ask everyone you know to go online and vote for your video. Twenty-five finalists will be selected by March 7 — if you’re one of those finalists, tell your friends to vote for your video again.
  3. Win! The thirteen entries with the most votes on Facebook by March 31 will get four tickets to a Twins game at Target Field to see their winning entry on the Jumbotron.

View the official contest rules on the “video contest” tab on Facebook.

The contest is open to anyone, but users must be 18 or older to upload a video to Facebook. We are providing the game tickets for the winners, but the families are responsible for getting to Target Field in Minneapolis and any lodging expenses.

Go vote for your favorites or upload your own health tip video today!

A Healthy Match at Mall of America

January 31, 2011

If you’ve been shopping at Mall of America the past few months, you may have seen the “Healthy Match” game from Mayo Clinic — interactive health information spanning the façade of a storefront on the first level next to Bloomingdale’s. The signage invites passersby to participate in a touch-screen memory game featuring photos and tips on how to stay healthy. It also allows Mall visitors to enter their e-mail addresses to receive additional Mayo Clinic health information.

More than 11,000 people have played the game since it went up in late November, and one lucky winner will receive a $200 mall gift card. Check out the game this week for a final chance to play and win!

The “Health Match” game is just one of the ways Mayo Clinic is promoting healthy living at Mall of America. For more information about Mayo Clinic activities at Mall of America, visit

Guided Video Tours of Mayo Clinic

January 28, 2011

Mayo Clinic’s new Center for Social Media has produced a Patient Video Guide series to help new patients and their families better know what to expect when they arrive and to make the most of their visit.

Each year more than 500,000 patients travel to Mayo Clinic for care from every U.S. state and about 150 countries. The new tour series provides these patients with orientation videos from all three sites: Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Vivien Williams, producer of our Mayo Clinic Medical Edge television series, hosts the guided tours. Here’s her introduction to the Minnesota tour:

These videos are being offered on our Mayo Clinic YouTube Channel, here on Sharing Mayo Clinic (see the right column) and on the new mobile-friendly blog entitled: Mayo Clinic Patient Video Guides.

If you have suggestions for elements you would like to see included in future segments, please add them in the comments below.

What would Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie Tweet?

January 3, 2011

When we were discussing creation of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media last year, our Mayo Clinic chief administrative officer, Shirley Weis, said something that struck a chord with me.

We had been talking about some of the ways our Mayo Clinic YouTube channel had helped patients get information they needed, and Ms. Weis said, “You know, if they were alive today, I’ll bet Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie would be using YouTube.”

I think that’s highly likely, especially given the Mayo brothers’ outreach practices and their approach to innovation. Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie regularly traveled to other medical centers to share what they had discovered about surgical practices and also to learn from others. They didn’t just travel within the U.S., but to Europe and elsewhere. And this was back when travel was much more arduous than it is today.

With the possibility of sharing in-depth information on a global scale without leaving home, I have no doubt that the Mayo brothers would have embraced YouTube. And I’ll bet they would have tweeted, too.

The Mayo brothers were well known for the kind of pithy, incisive comments that would fit perfectly on Twitter. Many of those quotes were gathered in book format in 1951.

So during 2011, we’re going to share a quote of the day from Dr. Will or Dr. Charlie (or occasionally from their father) via the Mayo Clinic Twitter account. We’ll also be gathering these quotes here on Sharing Mayo Clinic, on the Mayo Brothers’ Wisdom page.

In so doing, we hope to help renew appreciation for the timeless wisdom that helped to set the tone for what Mayo Clinic has become, while also answering the question that is the subject of this post.

A Mayo Moment with a “Woman Cut in Half”

December 20, 2010

A big part of the reason for Sharing Mayo Clinic is to give Mayo patients the opportunity to share their stories of how Mayo has changed their lives. It’s inspiring for employees to hear about the difference we make together as an organization and in teams, and how each of us individually contribute.

At this morning’s Surgical Quality Conference, a quarterly meeting of all of the departments involved in surgery at Mayo Clinic, staff heard the story of Janis Ollson, who had a first-of-its kind pelvic spine reconstruction after cancer surgery three years ago. Thanks to a surgical team led by Dr. Michael Yaszemski, she not only survived but has returned to an active lifestyle with her husband and two children.

Here is the original Mayo Clinic Medical Edge television story we produced about Janis:

Then in September of this year, the Winnipeg Free Press did a feature on Janis, which they gave a somewhat provocative headline: Miracle mom: Mayo surgeons cut her in half, cleared out her cancer. The story was then picked up throughout Canada, including The Vancouver Sun, and also in the U.S. with Fox News and others.

Janis is now 32 years old, and this morning she joined the Surgical Quality Conference via Skype videoconference, live from her home in Canada. The staff got to watch the video from her live studio appearance on NBC’s Today show. (You really need to watch that story!)

Here is a recording of the Skype conversation Dr. Yaszemski had with Janis after the Today segment was shown:

Thanks to Janis for sharing her story, and to the care team members who did such a good job with her.

What Led Hayley Lairmore to Mayo Clinic

July 14, 2010

After her daughter Hayley had been vomiting an average of 10 times a day for nearly six months, her mother Christine happened upon what seemed to her a possible diagnosis: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), as described in the first post in this series. In part 2, Mrs. Lairmore recalls what led her to finally make the call to Mayo Clinic to seek an appointment for Hayley with Dr. Phil Fischer, whose podcast and YouTube video describing POTS she had seen:

Check back tomorrow for Part 3, in which Christine describes her experience in calling Dr. Fischer’s office for an appointment.

Hayley Lairmore’s Mayo Clinic Journey

July 13, 2010

I first heard about Hayley Lairmore through a comment card her mom, Christine, sent to Mayo Clinic after their visit to Rochester last December. It was an amazing story of how Hayley had been throwing up an average of 10 times a day for several months, and how Christine and her husband Robert had been unable to get answers from several hospitals in southern California. But early one September morning (about 1 a.m.) Christine stumbled upon a blog post from a Mayo Clinic patient, who described symptoms just like Hayley’s and who mentioned her doctor, Phil Fischer, M.D. That led Christine to this video of Dr. Fischer, and this podcast, and eventually answers for Hayley.

Christine recounts the story in this post on Sharing Mayo Clinic, and you can read more about it in this story published today on

I was in California in May, and took the opportunity on Mother’s Day to meet the Lairmores personally and to interview Christine and Hayley about the experience. The video below is the first of a series in which Mrs. Lairmore describes Hayley’s illness and how social media tools like blogs and YouTube helped her find answers at Mayo Clinic:

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the series.

Lee Aase is manager of syndication and social media at Mayo Clinic.