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7 posts categorized "Famous Mayo Clinic patients"

May 09, 2014

New trustees bring political, financial clout to Mayo Clinic board

Mayo Clinic is bringing a significant amount of political and financial clout onto its Board of Trustees with the addition of two new members.

Armando Codina and Diana Taylor were officially named as board members at the organization's quarterly meeting on Friday in Rochester.

SFBJ Armando Codina 315*304Codina, a 66-year-old Cuban immigrant, is the executive chairman of Coral Gables, Fla.-based Codina Partners. Codina Partners is a powerful real estate investment and development company.

He has deep personal, political and business ties to the Bush family. By joining the Mayo board, he follows in the footsteps of Barbara Bush, who was a trustee from 1993 to 2001. Codina serves on the boards of many public companies, including General Motors, Home Depot and Merrill Lynch.Diana-Taylor

Taylor, 59, is a managing director of Wolfensohn Fund Management in New York City. She served as the superintendent of banks for the state of New York from 2003 to 2007. For many years, she has been a very public companion of billionaire and former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Taylor serves on many boards, including Citigroup and Sotheby’s.

The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, a 31-member group of public representatives and Mayo Clinic physicians and administrators, is responsible for patient care, medical education and research at Mayo Clinic’s sites.

November 05, 2012

Of hot dogs and hotels

It weighs five tons, is 11 feet tall, is 27 feet long and has four wheels.

What is it? The most famous food-shaped vehicles in history, of course, the Wienermobile. The iconic vehicle that is as recognizable as the Batmobile, Bigfoot or the Mystery Machine is rolling along the Med City's streets yet again.

05012012weinermobileVery early this morning (the Daylight Savings switch had me out a lot later or earlier than usual. Heh.), I spotted massive fiberglass hot dog proudly parked across Second Street Southwest from Saint Marys Hospital.

Even more interesting than the brightly-colored vehicle was the hotel sign at 1211 Second St. S.W.

In a column last week, I teased that a Med City hotel was looking at making a change. That seems to have happened, since the sign over the Oscar Mayer car says Aspen Suites instead of Staybridge Suites.
The 83-suite hotel, along with the Fiksdal Hotel, is owned by Blue Stem Capital of Sioux Fall, S.D., and Glen Fiksdal of Rochester.

I guess I should stop hotdogging and give them a call to find out the details.


August 23, 2012

Family's news stand wrapping up 57 years at Mayo Clinic

Here's some from my piece on the Subway News Stand and its 57 years at Mayo Clinic. There are so many good stories from these guys that it was a struggle to know when to stop writing.

One memory that didn't get in was Ben Kaplan picking up the daily horse racing newspaper from the Rochester 400 train every morning. Local legend said it took 400 minutes to get from Chicago to Rochester.

During the winter, sometimes the bundles of publications would get frozen to the train car and an ax would be needed to get them out.

There were five guys always waiting in the Kahler Hotel to buy those racing sheets, he said, but he declined to name them.


It used to be common to see almost everyone in Mayo Clinic's many waiting areas, patient rooms and staff cafeterias reading a handy magazine, newspaper or paperback book.

For the past 57 years, much of that printed paper flowed from the Kaplan family's Subway News Stand in downtown Rochester. However, times and reading choices change.

"Today you don't see that. Now they all have an iPad, Blackberry or Blueberry or whatever. You know, all of that electronic stuff," says 84-year-old Ben Kaplan, who started the news stand with his brothers.

Get_photoOn Aug. 31, the long story of the close partnership between the Kaplans and Mayo Clinic will reach its end. The fifth and final version of the family's news stand will ring up its last sale.

Declining sales, changes in the industry and rising prices convinced Steve Kaplan and his uncle Ben that it was time to close up shop at the end of their 10-year lease.

The Subway News Stand is tucked inside the Mayo Clinic Gift Shop at the heart of the Gonda Building on the downtown campus. There's no word yet what Mayo Clinic has planned for the space.

"We've enjoyed serving patients and employees. We've made a lot of friends over the years," says Steve Kaplan, as he sits surrounded by postcards, newspapers and magazines. "The people are what we'll miss the most."

While talking about the past, a shopper with a magazine under his arm paused on his way out to tell Steve that he had spent a lot of time in shop during the past four years. "I'm really sorry to see you go."

Kaplan, who started helping his father and uncles when he was just seven, has been a familiar face in the Gonda Building since it opened 10 years ago.

It all started back in 1947. That's when three Kaplan brothers — Milton, Hyman and Ben — purchased a wholesale distribution business called the Rochester News Agency. It sold papers, magazines, books and more to city news stands.

The business quickly grew, and they bought a sibling firm in Wisco800px-Gonda_building,_closer_upnsin, the La Crosse News Agency. When the Mayo Building was constructed, Milt Kaplan met with Mayo official Bill Harwick about opening a news stand in the new building.

"He said, 'We'd been thinking about it. … Send me a letter, and I'll put it in my file," remembers Milt Kaplan, who now lives in Milwaukee. "They hadn't started the building yet. About nine months later, he called me to meet with the architect."

Just like the Gonda did 47 years later, the new Mayo Building opened in 1955 with a Kaplan news stand leasing space in its subway. Most magazines, like Readers Digest, cost just a quarter. Cigarettes were two packs for 25 cents.

May 23, 2011

Iraqi president in Roch. for Mayo Clinic check-up

Here's some from an article I have about Iraq'a president being in town to to go to Mayo Clinic.

I know he has been out and about at various public places in Rochester for a week or so. Does anyone have any good stories or photos from sightings?

Check out my full story here.


Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is undergoing "a routine check-up" at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the Embassy of Iraq in Washington, D.C. confirmed on Monday.

210511024727 Unofficial sources have been reporting sightings of the Middle Eastern leader in Rochester for about week. It is unclear when he arrived in Minnesota.

Talabani is not traveling with any other Iraqi leaders and plans to stay in Rochester until Wednesday, said Rory Sheehan of the Iraqi embassy.

Mayo Clinic spokesman Bryan Anderson said that Mayo had no information or comment about Talabani's visit.

Talabani has had a long relationship with the clinic. In the fall of 2009, he traveled here for a medical visit, and he underwent a reportedly successful heart surgery at the clinic in August 2008.

November 30, 2010

While relatives visit Roch., Saudi King takes up NYC hospital wing

Here's some more info on the King of Saudi Arabia and his medical treatment in the U.S.

Some of his family members are currently in Rochester, presumably for their own care at Mayo Clinic, as I I've previously reported. Vacationing in Minnesota in late November would seem like an unconventional choice for Saudi royalty.

However, the king flew off to New York City at the same time as his royal family members flew in here.

Here's some from a New York Post article today about the king and his time in the Big Apple. Thanks for pointing this out, Ed.

King Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is causing his own diplomatic drama at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where the 86 year-old monarch has commandeered an entire wing as he recovers from back surgery on the VIP floor.

King Abdullah -- who repeatedly exhorted the US to "cut the head off the snake" by launching military strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear program, according to leaked diplomatic cables -- has forced other patients out by block-booking the hospital's top treatment and recovery rooms.

A family member of one patient told us, "The king has taken the entire luxury treatment wing and booked out all the rooms, even though they are empty and he doesn't need them, to protect his privacy.


The king underwent surgery for a blood clot and a slipped disc last week.


One law enforcement source told us that Abdullah -- who was visited in Saudi Arabia by four Cornell doctors who advised him he had to have the surgery in New York -- is a generous donor to the hospital and visited a month prior to his surgery.

Abdullah arrived in town on Monday of last week with an enormous entourage. He chartered three flights to JFK, arrived with a massive security team and a film crew, and left the airport in a convoy of 40 vehicles, including 20 for luggage alone.

October 21, 2010

What's going to happen to Kahler Barber Shop?

Here's the answer to a question raised in my story Wednesday about the renovation of the lower level of the Kahler Grand Hotel.

Note - I ran out of space to answer this in print Wed. I'm taking another shot at it my column today.

What's going to happen to the popular, old-fashioned Kahler Barber Shop?

The barber shop, formerly Dallman Barbers owned by Paul Dallman, and Swanger Barbers owned by Phanis “Squeak” Swanger before that, will no longer offer a trim and lots of conversation in its current spot.

The future of the shop now owned by Wendy Hagen and Duane Hawkins is still being worked out, though it will remain in the Kahler complex…somewhere.

Talks are under way to figure out exactly where to put the shop that has cut and buzzed the hair of Mayo Clinic doctors, professional football players like Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke, actors like Danny Kaye, and many loyal local customers.

September 16, 2010

Elder Bushes in Rochester

Visiting Rochester for a celebration, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, are undergoing their annual medical exams at Mayo Clinic.

E82f27684bf2e0de3145ac885913_grande The elder George Bush was spotted in downtown Rochester this afternoon and Mayo Clinic confirms the famous couple are being seen at the clinic.

A statement from Mayo Clinic says  they are "…At Mayo Clinic this week for a private event celebrating the 100th anniversary of orthopedics at Mayo Clinic and honoring their friendship to Mayo Clinic and dedication to education through The George H.W. and Barbara P. Bush Strategic Initiative Fund in Education."

The Bush family has long been linked with Mayo Clinic.

Barbara Bush served on the Mayo Board of Trustees for many years.

George H.W.  Bush had his left hip replaced here in 2000 and his right hip replaced in 2007.