With latest gift, couple has given $100M to Mayo

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A wealthy Wisconsin couple with an ambitious goal of changing the face of health care has bestowed the second-largest gift ever from a living donor on the Mayo Clinic – $67 million, the Pioneer Press reports.

"This changes everything," Mayo President and CEO John Noseworthy said. "With the Kerns' support, Mayo Clinic will re-engineer health care to improve safety, quality and value."

Robert and Patricia Kern plan to give the money to the Rochester-based health care giant for its Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. The facility aims to use engineering principles to improve how patients experience care.

“It requires an engineering approach that looks at how patients flow through the system, how they go from appointment to appointment, and how you establish continuity in the various components of their care,” the center’s medical director, Dr. Véronique Roger, said, the Star Tribune reports.

The Kerns gave $20 million to Mayo Clinic to found the center in 2011. The couple over the years have donated another $13 million for neurosciences research and education at Mayo.

Robert Kern was a mechanical engineer who used silicon technology to found his own business in a Wisconsin garage in 1959, Mayo says. Generac Power Systems grew into one of the world's largest generator manufacturers.

Mayo's largest gift ever from a living donor was announced in 2011, when Iowa businessman Richard O. Jacobson gave Mayo $100 million for new cancer treatment centers.

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