In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

September 14, 2021

‘In a Word’: Bonny Young on leading with love, serendipity and more

By In the Loop

This column spotlights the kinds of people you think about when you think about Mayo Clinic. They've answered questions, serious and otherwise, so you can know them better.


You see them at bedsides. Behind desks. You may spot them walking down a hall or sprinting across a lobby, making every effort to look like they're walking. You see them talking quietly with a patient and family, or sitting down with you at a meeting. They may be friends, teammates or someone you know only by sight. But you're glad they're here. And it's reassuring to know that the health of our patients, our colleagues and the institution itself rests in their capable, friendly, earnest, caring and compassionate hands.


Bonny Young has been at Mayo Clinic for a quarter of a century. She sees her coming to Mayo as serendipity. A nursing manager at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Young was at Franciscan Health System, Skemp Clinic, in 1995 when Mayo Clinic and Franciscan Health System merged. She says her favorite parts about working at Mayo are the relationships she shares with patients and the people she works with.

"I get to partner and collaborate with teams of experts in various fields who work together and support each other for the patient's benefit," Young says. "Mayo's mission, vision and the RICH TIES values of Respect, Integrity, Compassion, Healing, Teamwork, Innovation, Excellence and Stewardship are what continues to make my work meaningful and purposeful as a nurse leader."

Young's passion for her work and dedication to patients have earned her five nominations for the Mae Berry Award for Service Excellence.

One of my favorite things about Mayo: Mayo values innovation. I am a very curious person and a lifelong learner.

The single most important thing I did at work yesterday: My team celebrated and honored with hearts of gratitude three amazing physicians: Dr. Margaret Grenisen's retirement, Dr. Lori Devine's birthday and Dr. Gina Chacon Osorio's research fellowship.

A book I would recommend: "Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders," by Joel Manby. In my opinion, it is a must-read for leaders who care and lead with love as an action and way of life at work and at home, love as a strategy and a leadership principle. The wisdom of Joel Manby is he shows you how to be both loving and accountable, profitable and caring, and to be effective and giving. "Love Works" is a proven model for creating and sustaining a successful and healthy organization and life.

What Mayo Clinic has taught me: Never underestimate the power of collaboration.

Most treasured or best advice from a colleague at Mayo: Contentment of body, mind and spirit comes when we act in alignment with one set of values at work, at home and in the community.

Most memorable Mayo moment: Early on in the COVID -19 pandemic, Mayo prioritized the needs of its staff. I remembering receiving an email about the Paycheck Protection Program. That email message delivered hope and gave each staff member four weeks of time to put a plan in place for food, clothing, daycare, schooling and shelter for their families.

If I could choose the "on hold" music for Mayo Clinic it would be: Jazz instrumental.

Favorite space on campus this month: The eighth floor St. Francis Building looking out the west windows at the roofline of St. Rose Convent and the Mary of the Angels and Perpetual Adoration chapels and the east windows overlooking the Grandad Bluff.

People who inspire me: They share certain characteristics. They are authentic and passionate about who they are and what they do. I am inspired by Nick Vujicic. His videos on YouTube have inspired me and millions of people with his message to love life and to live life without limits. His message is brilliantly sobering and electric.

The most fun I have had this year: It was reconnecting with my seven siblings to celebrate our mother's 82nd birthday with food, having conversations while playing the card game Sheepshead, and listening to music outside in Pike Lake, Wisconsin.

Team Dr. Charlie or Team Dr. Will? Or Team Mother Alfred or Team Dr. W.W.? Team Mother Alfred Moes because of her faith with a commitment to service and her influential and relationship-building skills to partner with Dr. William Worrall Mayo. I believe we do our best work in partnerships. Secondly, the philosophy of caring is built upon the Franciscan Sisters' original healing mission that honors the past, reflects the present, and guides us into the future. I am blessed to stand on the shoulders of Mother Alfred Moses, the Franciscan Sisters, Dr. William Worrall Mayo and his sons and the countless other Mayo staff who have healed the sick, advanced the science and shared their knowledge.

When patients recall their visit to Mayo, I hope they remember: How they were cared for with dignity, compassion and respect. The coordination and delivery of their care was personalized to meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.


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Tags: Bonny Young, Employee Stories, Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse

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