Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My Adventures In ‘Minne-snow-ta’

February 7, 2011

Roy Exum recently wrote a comical editorial for the website Here are a few pieces from his article:

Several years ago I was an in-house guest at the famed Mayo Clinic, which is about 90 miles south of Minneapolis in the state of “Minne-snow-ta”…

It has never been lost on me that – every winter – about 15,000 Mayo Clinic employees battle the worst weather imaginable to take care of patients like me. So this week I checked on my blue-eared chums and they’ve already had 60 inches of snow this winter. Yesterday the wind chill was minus-45 degrees…

Mayo Clinic sprawls for almost ten blocks in downtown Rochester but the main buildings are connected by a web of amazing underground hallways, all brightly lit and warm and sprinkled with pleasant art so people don’t have to brave the elements and become lab specimens. But the next time you grumble about a “wintery mix” in Tennessee, I’m here to tell you it could be a whole lot worse. The Minnesota people are a hardy bunch…

It’s something to see. Every kid goes to school every day. One time I was there and the wind chills got to almost 70 below so the governor called off school in the entire state. What makes that odd was that it was only something like the tenth time they’d done it in the last 50 years…

To read the entire article, click here.

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!

“New Year, New Skin, New Leg”

January 19, 2011

When Brenda M. woke up with flu-like symptoms in August 2007, she had no idea just how grave her condition was. Later in the day she noticed discoloration and severe pain in her right leg. By that afternoon, Brenda entered the emergency room where her health continued to decline. Doctors at Mayo Clinic worked incessantly to keep her alive through the night. She was diagnosed with an extremely rare blood infection and was given a 5 percent chance of survival.


Brenda began to improve with the help of medication. However, the infection had caused a great deal of damage to her right leg, and several months later, it was amputated below the knee. Though her road to recovery has been a long one, Brenda remains optimistic and eager to face the future. She is hoping to complete her skin graft treatments and begin the process of receiving a prosthetic in the upcoming year. Referring to this process, Brenda has adopted a motto for 2011: “New year, new skin, new leg.”

Helping the Girls of the Congo: Part Eleven (Friday)

November 17, 2010

The following is another update from the Mayo Clinic team that was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last week.

“We started the morning surrounded by the staff and patients of Panzi, gathered in the courtyard for morning prayers. We looked out on the beautiful women wrapped in colorful pagnes. We felt like we understood Bercky’s inspirational devotion. Then Dr. Mukwege invited Dr. Phil Fischer to give our thanks and good-bye in Swahili. Dr. Fischer responded that the Bible says we should love God with mind, body and heart. This week, we have seen God’s love as we see all the staff here teaching, healing and caring for minds, bodies, and hearts. We will leave here with them in our hearts, and we leave half of hearts here with them. It was beautiful benediction and everyone cheered.

Dr. Fischer evaluating a 4-day old infant with vomiting, Panzi Hospital

We then joined the women survivors for morning dancing and singing in the courtyard, and we were welcomed as part of the group. Dr. Sean Dowdy and Dr. Emanuel Trabuco went to the OR to facilitate the ongoing adoption of the new cystoscopy instruments. Dr. Fischer made rounds and did more teaching, as did Dr. Doug Creedon. Lois McGuire, R.N., C.N.P., gave a lecture of incontinence. Dr. Deb Rhodes met with Bev, the administrator for Panzi, to discuss long-term strategies. Lois also played tic-tac-toe with some young girls at the hospital.

Lois McGuire, R.N., C.N.P., giving a lecture on incontinence, Panzi Hospital

We are leaving the hospital a little earlier than usual today in anticipation of a traditional Congolese farewell feast at the home of Christine’s mother. We are so sad to realize that we will be leaving early tomorrow. We would like to thank beyond words the individuals without whom this trip would not have happened – please check back for our final post from Amsterdam so that we can acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of those in Rochester and beyond who are as devoted to this cause as we are.”

Helping the Girls of the Congo: Part Nine (More from Tuesday)

November 15, 2010

We are happy to report that the Mayo Clinic team in the Democratic Republic of the Congo arrived home safely late yesterday. We will continue to post their updates from the trip throughout this week.

Morning Prayer at Panzi Hospital

“Behind the operating rooms is an expanse of grass and circular shelters consisting of a thatched roof without walls and a fireplace in the center. This is the heart of Panzi Hospital. It is where the women and children who have survived rape live together, some for months and some for years, to await the time for their fistula repair. Where despair and defeat should pervade, there is color and singing and dancing and praise. These women and children are a family to each other, and Esther is the one who nurtures them and brings them back to life and safety. Every morning, she leads them in a ritual of chanting and swaying and stomping and clapping that erupts into laughter, catharsis and play. Young mothers dance as tiny feet peek around their waists, their babies swaddled to their backs. Children rush to take your hands and dance. Old women join in the circle.

We head back late in the evening for dinner with Eve, Christine, and Elaine. Elaine has just arrived from San Francisco. She is a trauma therapist who will do training workshops with the ten Congolese women who will become the staff and counselors at City of Joy. City of Joy is due to open in February, and there is much to be done, both in terms of training and construction that has been delayed by shortages of basic building supplies. Eve and Christine are routinely working 14 hour days. Our evenings together are dizzying exchanges of questions and ideas, and the jumble seems by morning to lead to measurable steps forward. We have had many conversations with residents of DRC about the complex political and economic forces that have led to this 12-year war. The U.N. is spending over 2 million dollars a day for peacekeeping forces, and yet the violence continues. But it would likely be far worse without these forces. It is hard to see any end in sight without a radical shift in the political structure and the distribution of profits from the rich mineral deposits.”

Helping the Girls of the Congo: Part Four

November 4, 2010

Continuing the series, we are excited to announce that the Mayo Clinic team is on their way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. During their trip, we hope to continue posting updates we receive from them; stay tuned!

See some video footage of their departure from the Mayo Clinic campus below.

Helping the Girls of the Congo: Part Three

November 3, 2010

Following Part One and Part Two series posts, this one focuses on the transportation of supplies. Tom Griffin is the Operations Manager for transportation within Mayo Medical Laboratories. He was involved in helping Dr. Deborah Rhodes and her group members send the numerous medical supplies to Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Tom talked of getting personally invested in this project, “The more we read about Panzi and the work Dr. Mukwege is doing, the less we felt that we could not help.” In fact, Tom shared that the best email he received all year was the one notifying him that the supplies had arrived safely to their destination.

He explains this large-scale international transportation project in the video below.