• By Kevin Punsky

Mayo Clinic celebrates 35 years in Florida

October 12, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In the 35 years since its opening, Mayo Clinic in Florida has become one of the premier medical destination centers in the Southeast while garnering the No. 1 spot in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals" rankings in Florida and contributing more than $2 billion annually to Florida's economy.

In 1986, Mayo Clinic brought its team approach to health care from Rochester, Minnesota, to the Southeast when it opened the clinic with just 35 physicians and 145 support staff. Today, Mayo employs more than 7,800 staff members in Florida and provides high-quality care for patients from all 50 states and 143 countries.

"Through 35 years of growth, our dedicated and resilient teams have continuously innovated to imagine new treatments and standards of care for our patients," says Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. "We continue to grow and invest in our teams, space and technology to Cure, Connect and Transform the future of health care ― never losing site of our primary value: The needs of the patient come first."

The Davis family of Jacksonville played a significant role in Mayo Clinic's decision to open a campus in Florida. Having received excellent medical care at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the family rallied support for fundraising and donated about 400 acres on San Pablo Road, where the campus was constructed.

Since opening its doors in Jacksonville, Mayo Clinic in Florida has grown from a single building to three patient care buildings, a hospital, two research buildings and a collection of free-standing primary care centers, administrative buildings and support facilities. Mayo Clinic in Florida provides diagnosis, medical treatment, surgery and care for more than 120,000 patients each year in 40 specialty areas.

Mayo Clinic in Florida has recently invested more than $400 million in major capital projects, and it will add more than 500,000 square feet of space for medical destination, patient care, biomedical research and technology by 2024.

Highlights include:

  • Mayo North addition
    This building will be a five-floor, 125,000-square-foot addition with a two-story atrium building link between the Cannaday and Mayo buildings. It will have space for eight operating rooms, as well as procedural space for Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and other departments. Matthew and David Medure, local award-winning chefs, will open their latest restaurant in the atrium, which will include seating for 200 people, as well as a full-service bar and coffee shop.
  • Integrated oncology facility
    Mayo Clinic will break ground next year on a new $233 million, 200,000-square-foot integrated oncology facility that includes proton beam and carbon ion treatment therapy. Mayo Clinic's carbon ion therapy center will be the first carbon ion facility in North America.
  • Patient parking garage
    This 866-space parking garage, which is adjacent to the Cannaday Building, opened in late 2020, providing much-needed parking capacity and convenience for patients. In addition to the garage, a two-story connector building was constructed that includes about 25,000 square feet of space for retail and others uses to be determined.
  • Emergency department expansion
    The 12,000-square-foot expansion will contain 14 new emergency department patient rooms and 10 new short-stay and care rooms. The construction also will expand support locations, such as laundry, medication supply and staff space. Construction has begun and will continue through April 2022.
  • Hilton hotel
    The eight-story, 179,000-square-foot Hilton hotel will offer guests personalized service, elevated accommodations and amenities such as a fitness center, on-site restaurant with room service and an outdoor pool. It will feature 16,000 square feet of meeting space. Construction on the 252-room hotel is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2022, with completion slated for early 2024.

Mayo's 35 years in Jacksonville has produced numerous milestones in patient care, education and research, including:

  • Opening a brain bank in 1991 that has since become the foundation for several groundbreaking neuroscience discoveries.
  • Collaborating with other local providers to launch Jacksonville's first and only bone marrow transplant program in 1992.
  • Starting residency and fellowship programs in 1993. Today, the campus has 53 graduate medical education programs for health sciences careers.
  • Treating tremor with the first deep-brain stimulation procedure in 1997.
  • Discovering in 1998 the first genetic cause for frontotemporal dementia, the second most common dementia.
  • Performing more than 7,800 organ transplants, including liver, heart, lung, kidney and pancreas transplants, as well as multiorgan procedures, since opening its transplant center in 1998.
  • Developing a pioneering lab model to study Alzheimer's disease in 2001.
  • Receiving Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute in 2002.
  • Identifying in 2004 the most common genetic cause worldwide of Parkinson's disease.
  • Opening Mayo Clinic Hospital in Florida in 2008 to integrate inpatient and outpatient care.
  • Offering the area's first robotic surgery for less-invasive partial knee replacement surgery in 2010.
  • Opening the Gabriel House of Care extended-stay facility in April 2011 to help transplant and cancer patients who need to stay near the clinic for treatment.
  • Opening the 10,000-square-foot free-standing sleep center in July 2011. More than 1,000 sleep disorder patients are treated there annually.
  • Identifying in 2012 a gene critical to the development and spread of lung cancer.
  • Opening the Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Simulation Center in February 2013. In this 9,600-square-foot center, medical teams and community organizations learn and practice skills in a risk-free environment.
  • Opening an individualized medicine clinic in 2013.
  • Receiving Cancer Center of Excellence designation in 2014 from the state of Florida. Mayo Clinic in Florida is one of only four centers in the state to hold this distinction.
  • Earning national Comprehensive Stroke Center certification in 2014. Mayo Clinic in Florida was the first in the state to receive this certification.
  • Receiving Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2015.
  • Obtaining a $13.3 million federal grant in 2015 to test an innovative breast cancer vaccine.
  • Receiving three preeminent, international awards for neuroscience research in 2016.
  • Opening a new cardiac catheterization lab in 2016 to meet growing demand for the expertise and advanced procedures in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases.
  • Participating in a research experiment by sending donated adult stems cells in a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station in 2017. Mayo researchers continue to study whether stems cells can be reproduced more quickly in a microgravity environment, which ultimately could translate into new treatment options for patients.
  • Opening a positron emission tomography (PET) radiochemistry facility in 2018. The facility houses a radiochemistry laboratory, and a cyclotron, which is a particle accelerator important in radiopharmaceutical production.
  • Offering chimeric antigen receptor-T cell therapy for patients with relapsed large B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Mayo Clinic was the first cancer center in Northeast Florida to offer this treatment in 2018.
  • Opening the 190,000-square-foot Dorothy J. and Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Building in 2018 for patients seeking cancer, neurology and neurosurgical care.
  • Opening the Discovery and Innovation Building in 2019. This building is home to a pioneering technology collaboration with United Therapeutics Corp. that will increase the number of lungs available for transplant. The building also houses the Mayo Clinic Innovation Exchange that connects entrepreneurs with resources to bring medical solutions to market.
  • Introducing the advanced care at home program in 2020 to provide high-acuity care at home under the direction of Mayo Clinic physicians for patients who otherwise would be hospitalized.
  • Solidifying the top spot in Florida and the Jacksonville metro area in five of the past six years, including in 2021 in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals" rankings.

Mayo Clinic's commitment to quality and collaboration dates back more than 150 years, when the Mayo brothers invented the team-based approach to medicine ― an approach that is continuously refined over time. Then and now, Mayo Clinic's world-class experts work closely across specialties to provide comprehensive and coordinated care for patients with the most serious and complex conditions.

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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. For information on COVID-19, including Mayo Clinic's Coronavirus Map tracking tool, which has 14-day forecasting on COVID-19 trends, visit the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Resource Center.

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