• COVID-19

    Science Saturday: Crisis inspires innovation

a researcher with a green glove working with test tubes in the Mayo Clinic Laboratories serology testing for COVID-19

Mayo Clinic has successfully navigated many challenges over our 150-plus year history, including two world wars, the 1918 influenza pandemic and the Great Depression. Our visionary leaders were able to use these inflection points of crisis to catalyze transformational change.

Mayo Clinic has an unparalleled resource to lead the response to COVID-19: our organizational values — the living legacy of the Mayo family and the Sisters of St. Francis, who established the foundation of Mayo Clinic.  

Addressing employees, who face major challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic, Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., president and CEO, pledged on behalf of institutional leaders to “ensure that every action that Mayo Clinic takes is aligned with our values and secures our ability to serve patients through our three-shield mission.”

In many ways, COVID-19 has been disruptive on a global scale. In other respects, however, it is the latest example of a timeless truth: At Mayo Clinic, crisis inspires — and accelerates — innovation and generosity.

Guided by Our Values

“Throughout our history, times of crisis have consistently called forth some of the best qualities of Mayo Clinic,” says Robert Brown, Jr., M.D., the John T. and Lillian Mathews Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Mayo Clinic Program in Professionalism and Values.

Sister Tierney Trueman, coordinator of the Mayo Clinic Values Council, describes values as a thread of continuity: “Particular circumstances vary widely over time, but the way that the people of Mayo Clinic respond to crisis, working in trust and teamwork, caring for patients and each other, has been a constant throughout the generations.”

The COVID-19 pandemic struck at a critical time in the history of Mayo Clinic. Arriving just months after the Board of Trustees approved the "cure, connect and transform" vision for the path to 2030 and beyond, the pandemic has greatly accelerated the revolution in health care that Mayo is strongly positioned to lead.

The future has arrived, and the care models of tomorrow have become the expectations and essential services of today. Guided by our values, Mayo Clinic will lead a revolution in health care in a time when it's needed most.

Today, as throughout its history, the record shows that at Mayo Clinic crisis is a catalyst.

Stronger together

COVID-19 specimen testing

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the importance of supporting health care to the forefront. It has identified where the health system soars and where it fails. The pandemic has accelerated Mayo’s path toward a model of care that is more digital, consumer-friendly and responsive — elements set forth in our strategic plan to cure, connect and transform health care by the year 2030. The vision is bold and ambitious, building on Mayo’s ability to revolutionize medicine to meet the changing needs of patients.  

During the pandemic, Mayo Clinic has demonstrated significant leadership on a national level, leading important efforts to improve and expand testing capabilities and conducting research for treatments and vaccines to stop the virus.

Throughout history, Mayo Clinic has answered the call of the nation — and the world — in need. Guided by our values, Mayo Clinic has inspired cures, accelerated connectivity and transformed generosity into innovation. Today, together with visionary benefactors, Mayo Clinic is prepared to advance its vision for the future.

Dr. Will Mayo always maintained a long-term perspective. His words resonate across the arc of Mayo Clinic’s history and in Mayo’s response to COVID-19: “The ills of today must not cloud the horizons of tomorrow.”

Read the rest of the article on Advancing the Science.


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Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding along with guidelines and recommendations may have changed since the original publication date

Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for additional updates on COVID-19. For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.