Darrin Nelson of Rochester, NY, wrote this blog entry on Sept. 1, 2009, the day after he was released from Mayo Clinic – St. Marys Hospital following minimally invasive heart surgery to repair his mitral valve. This is the second post in a series of four. Check back Wednesday for the next installment.
Coming from Rochester, N.Y., I expected Rochester, Minn., to resemble my hometown. Growing up in New York’s Hudson Valley, a stone’s throw from New York City, I always felt a bit of compromise and simplification by now living in Rochester, N.Y., perceiving it to be a small community. The people are very friendly in Rochester, N.Y., and aside from the name, that is probably where the similarities stop. The greater Rochester, Minn. population is about 1/10 that of Rochester, N.Y. The airport is set amongst farms and is a short 10-15 minute cab ride from downtown. Mayo Clinic is composed of buildings (hospitals and administrative) downtown with a few exceptions. For example, St. Marys Hospital, where I had my surgery, is a mile from this downtown cluster. There are hotels all around and shuttle services run between the hotels, Mayo facilities, and the airport. There is even an underground walkway called the “subway.” With 38,000 employees, Mayo Clinic is Rochester, Minn.'s largest employer, and it's clear that most people around town respect and appreciate the importance of the facility.