Letter: Mayo’s reputation has been tarnished

Published 2:56 pm Sunday, August 6, 2017

As a transplant from Missouri to Albert Lea in 1967, I’ve come to appreciate and love the community of Albert Lea. Citizens are friendly, caring, hardworking and above all, loyal.

Seeing the quandary of the Naeve Hospital taken over by Mayo Clinic is indeed disheartening and frightening, as my husband and I are now in our mid-70s. We raised two sons who have left Albert Lea due to job transfer assignments, thus leaving us as parents pretty much on our own. The comment that Austin is only 20-some miles east is not an easy solution to a senior citizen who may be unable to accommodate the drive during the long, cold winters. We never for a moment thought we would be stranded by a health system whose motto is “The patient comes first.”

During the early 1940s, a young doctor from Minnesota who had been ousted by the Mayo brothers soon after he had completed his medical residency moved to West Plains, Missouri — my hometown.

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Citizens of our town never learned the reason. However, he and his wife, a Mayo-trained nurse, purchased a spacious southern house converting it into a hospital with the upper level serving as their home. Dr. Stoll at times referred to his training at Mayo and was proud to have trained there. Revered and loved, they served the southern part of Missouri and northern Arkansas for many years.

The Stoll Clinic and hospital filled daily with people who sat waiting to be called in to see Dr. Stoll. Babies were delivered, surgeries were performed and our family never heard anyone complain or find fault with Dr. Stoll’s diagnosis and/or subsequent treatments. Natives of the area often spoke of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, dreaming that perhaps one day they might be able to visit Rochester.

How disheartening it is for the Mayo reputation to go down in disappointment to our fair city here in Albert Lea. We were blindsided by promises that have not been kept. Mayo’s reputation has been tarnished as broken promises plainly tell us this is not what we believe Mayo was founded on.

Friends who now live in Phoenix and Jacksonville, Florida, are being sent articles and facts of what’s happening to us, including what’s gone down in Fairmont, Wabasha and other communities. These friends will be warned not to expect the care expected of or promises made by Mayo.

Carol Bybee

Albert Lea