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Mayo expansion raises questions for both clinic and Rochester

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When the Minnesota legislature approved funding for a $585 million expansion of the Mayo Clinic in May, the idea was not just to fill the coffers of a world-renowned medical facility but to make it a destination place for patients worldwide.

In fact, the project has been dubbed the Destination Medical Center, but as the Pioneer Press reports, it may raise more questions than promises not just for Mayo, but for the city of Rochester as well.

"I think there are going to be winners and there are going to be people that are going to be left in the dust," Brad Narr, Mayo Clinic's medical director for Destination Medical Center, tells the St. Paul paper. "And it's going to hinge on what we're actually doing as a medical system that improves people's lives and provides value."

By providing high-quality, efficient care while expanding operations in Rochester, the clinic plans to survive and prosper even as cost pressures might force other medical centers to shrink, the PiPRess reports in a nuanced portrait of a clinic on the brink of change.

Mayo Clinic officials haven't said exactly how they will invest the $3.5 billion they've committed to spend over 20 years, according to the PiPRess. It's also not clear what sort of investment will come from other private parties who are expected to spend up to $2.1 billion.

All told, the project will create about 30,000 jobs, supporters predict, but the paper says those numbers and jobs are uncertain.

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