Mayo Clinic leaders have appointed a chair and interim executive director for its newly-created private Economic Development Agency that will guide future growth in Rochester.
Patricia Simmons, a physician and professor of pediatrics, will lead a Mayo Clinic board that will vet private information and development plans. After deliberating on proposals, the board will make them public and present them to the Destination Medical Center Corp. board for approval.
"Once we're at the corporation, those meetings are public," Simmons said. "The dialogue will be good between the EDA and the Destination Medical Center Corporation, and wide open."
The process is part of Mayo Clinic's proposed 20-year, $5 billion investment plan to remake its flagship campus. The plan includes $327 million in state aid, largely to fund improvements to public facilities.
Rochester and Mayo Clinic leaders estimate the city will grow by about 32,000 residents over the next 20 years as the clinic expands its footprint in the region.
Lisa Clarke, who administered the clinic's request for state aide, has been named the economic development agency's interim executive director.
Simmons said the agency has launched a national search for a permanent director and plans to have a board in place by the end of the year.
"It's just a matter of 'Who are the people to fill those seats and additionally, what expertise do we need to bring to this project,' " Simmons said. "That's why we're looking broadly throughout Minnesota for the people with the experience, with the knowledge, who can contribute."
Board members of the Destination Medical Center Corp. have not yet released many details of how the public group will use taxpayer-aided development to develop Rochester. The public corporation expects to have a draft development plan by June and approve it by next October.