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    $20 million gift from Dwight and Dian Diercks to accelerate Mayo Clinic’s strategy for transformational healthcare AI and innovation

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A generous $20 million gift from Dwight and Dian Diercks will fuel key elements of Mayo Clinic’s vision for the future of healthcare, including Mayo Clinic Platform and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) for early detection and intervention in cancer. In honor of their support, Mayo Clinic will establish the Dwight and Dian Diercks President, Mayo Clinic Platform, and create the Heidi Diercks Krause Fund in AI Innovation for Cancer, named in honor of Mr. Diercks’ late sister.

"The Dierckses’ visionary investment will bolster Mayo Clinic’s efforts through the Platform to curate the world's de-identified data, empower solution developers and transform healthcare around the world," says John Halamka, M.D., the inaugural Dwight and Dian Diercks President, Mayo Clinic Platform.

“Through the reach of Mayo Clinic Platform, the Dierckses’ remarkable generosity will accelerate new innovations that fundamentally change how health systems and care teams provide care to improve patients' lives,” says Dr. Halamka, who also holds the Michael D. Brennan, M.D., President’s Strategic Initiative Professorship.

Mayo Clinic Platform is a key focus of Mayo Clinic’s Bold. Forward. strategy to transform healthcare globally. Disrupting the traditional pipeline paradigm, Mayo Clinic Platform brings together solution developers, data partners and healthcare organizations to collaborate around secure, de-identified clinical data to create, validate and scale digital health solutions. It currently offers access to a diverse dataset of 46 million de-identified and longitudinal patient records, AI model validation for accuracy and removal of bias, and streamlined clinical integration. This transformative model is expediting a new era of revolutionary diagnostics and treatments that redefine the frontiers of patient care and well-being.

The Heidi Diercks Krause Fund in AI Innovation for Cancer will enable Mayo Clinic’s Generative Artificial Intelligence Program and Mayo Clinic’s Comprehensive Cancer Center to advance answers for cancer. An example of this work includes developing advanced generative AI tools to gain deep insights into a person’s risk of developing cancer. This forecasting will allow clinicians to intervene earlier than ever before — even before cancer can be diagnosed.

“We are profoundly grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Diercks for their support, which will help us bring the promise of AI to patients at the earliest phases of their care journeys,” says Matthew Callstrom, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic’s medical director for Strategy, chair of Radiology in Rochester and leader of the Generative Artificial Intelligence Program. “Cancer affects people from all walks of life, and leveraging AI to tackle and treat this devastating disease will be critical for improving outcomes for all patients.”

As senior vice president of software engineering at NVIDIA, Mr. Diercks has been involved in AI innovation since the company’s inception.

“We can't afford to wait years or decades for new AI breakthroughs in healthcare. People need new therapies and cures now,” says Mr. Diercks. “Dian and I truly believe that Mayo Clinic Platform and AI innovation will be the keys to better predicting diseases like cancer, so physicians can intervene sooner with more effective treatments that save, extend or improve the quality of patient lives. It gives me comfort knowing my sister’s legacy will live on through these efforts to transform cancer care for everyone. Heidi lived for her family, and having additional time with her husband, Scott, and daughter, Kate, meant the world to her. In the future, we hope that extension of time can be amplified tenfold for others.”

Mr. Diercks grew up in Red Wing, Minnesota, less than 50 miles from Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus, where he worked on his family’s farm as a teenager. His close family, including his late father and sister, trusted Mayo Clinic for their most complex health needs.

“I tell my friends that receiving care at Mayo Clinic is like being at the intersection of medicine and hardcore engineering. Everyone is focused on finding the right tests and data to solve the most personal, important health challenges in your life,” says Mr. Diercks. 

Mr. Diercks earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering with a minor in business from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). The Dierckses have provided transformational support to MSOE that has resulted in a nation-leading computer science program in applied AI and supercomputing. With their latest gift to Mayo Clinic, they aim to provide the same accelerant to AI innovation, now within healthcare.


About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news.

About Mayo Clinic Platform
Founded on Mayo Clinic's dedication to patient-centered care, Mayo Clinic Platform enables new knowledge, new solutions and new technologies through collaborations with health technology innovators to create a healthier world. To learn more, visit Mayo Clinic Platform at www.mayoclinicplatform.org.

About Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center
Designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer InstituteMayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center is defining new boundaries in possibility, focusing on patient-centered care, developing novel treatments, training future generations of cancer experts and bringing cancer research to communities. At Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, a culture of innovation and collaboration is driving research breakthroughs that are changing approaches to cancer prevention, screening and treatment, and improving the lives of cancer survivors.

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