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Noseworthy to retire as Mayo CEO

By Jeff Kiger, Rochester Post Bulletin

After more than seven years full of big changes as the leader of Mayo Clinic, Dr. John Noseworthy will retire as president and CEO at the end of 2018.

“I am honored that the Board of Trustees asked me to serve another year, through the end of 2018,” said Noseworthy in an announcement Tuesday morning. “2017 was an extraordinary year for Mayo Clinic, and I look forward to working with our leadership team throughout 2018 to continue to strengthen Mayo Clinic and advance our humanitarian mission.”

The announcement of his planned retirement was announced as part of Mayo Clinic’s 2017 performance report.

In 2009, the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees approved a plan to “transition to a single president/CEO on the Rochester campus” and chose Noseworthy to take on that role. He succeeded Dr. Denis Cortese as CEO in September 2009.

That leadership change was part of an overall transition of Mayo Clinic operating as a holding company to functioning as a unified organization.

Noseworthy said Tuesday morning that he will serve until the end of 2018. His successor is expected to be named in August.

“We’ve been discussing the timing of that (the succession) for last two years. … The goal is to make sure we don’t skip a beat,” he said. “Mayo Clinic is not a CEO-focused organization. It’s a patient-focused organization.”

Noseworthy’s tenure has been an eventful one for Mayo Clinic.

In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature approved the Destination Medical Center initiative, a 20-year, $5.6 billion economic development initiative. DMC is the focal point for upgrading the city of Rochester and preparing for a predicted influx of 30,000 new jobs related to Mayo Clinic’s growth.

DMC has spurred a lot of praise as well as criticism from the Rochester area as it has driven big changes in the community.

“We’ve tried to be and I hope … we’ll see what the jury says … that we’re a very good partner for the community. When you bring growth … and the DMC is a great example of that and we’re pleased with where that’s headed … it’s not going to bring everybody on board,” Noseworthy said. “There are unintended and unexpected consequences when you grow and when you prosper.”

In recent years, Mayo Clinic’s revenues and patient numbers have grown to record levels. The clinic facilities have expanded on all three campuses. Mayo Clinic was named as the best medical institution in the U.S. in 2016 and 2017.

A more than $1 billion transition to a new electronic health records system began in 2017 and is expected to be completed this year.