In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

November 30, 2023

Here and There: Building blessing, colorful contest, festive robots

By In the Loop

Learn why construction of the Andersen Building in Rochester came to a brief halt, how therapy staff across Mayo were honored through a poster coloring contest, and why you may run into some festively decked-out robots in Rochester.


"Here and There" gives you a glimpse at happenings across Mayo Clinic, giving special attention to the lighter moments. If you and your colleagues had some fun or stumbled across something interesting, drop the News Center team a note, and include a photo or video if you can.

See what your colleagues have been up to recently.

Building blessing

The construction of the Andersen Building in Rochester is moving into a new phase. Large amounts of concrete are now being poured at the site of the former Colonial Building in preparation for the expansion of Mayo's Proton Beam Therapy Program.

The hustle and bustle at the construction site came to a brief halt for a special blessing ceremony last week, which included embedding a small cross in the building's foundation.

"Mayo Clinic has a long history of embedding crosses within foundations as part of many construction projects. The building is blessed not only for the structure but also for the staff who will work there, the contractors' safety as they construct the building and, most importantly, the patients who will eventually be treated in the building," says Karl Corrigan, Facilities Project Services.

Concrete vault construction will continue through the winter, with the assembly of the steel structure starting in the spring. The project is on schedule to receive the proton beam equipment in July of 2025, and the first patients are expected to be treated in the expansion by early to mid-2027. 

View this slideshow with highlights from the blessing ceremony:


Colorful contest

Creative juices flowed during National Rehabilitation Awareness Week, held Sep. 18–24. An institution-wide poster coloring contest was part of an effort to celebrate therapy teams across Mayo. They've been supporting the Healing After Surgery Program, which provides patients with information, education and support for incorporating non-opioid pain management options following surgery.

Noelle Drapeau, Jane Hein, Monica Heinemann, Mary McGough and Madison Runyan of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation teamed up with Alan Sloan, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research, who created a custom Healing after Surgery poster. The poster was sent to all therapy departments to color for a chance to win a catered lunch.

By the end of the week, 27 poster submissions had been created by 175 participants. Here is an example:

Winning entries came from the “Florida OP Gate Parkway,” “Eisenberg 2 Late Ortho Team,” and “Eisenberg 2D” teams. As a bonus, Sloan even created a quilt featuring all poster entries and the winning posters.

Festive Robots

Food Services teams at Charter House — a retirement and assisted-living community at Mayo Clinic in Rochester — are extra thankful for their robot assistants this holiday season. Jennifer Rosas-Iglias, who is pictured below, and her team decked out their collaborative robot duo — fondly known as Will and Charlie — in turkey-themed attire to bring food, smiles and plenty of cheer to Charter House residents for Thanksgiving.

The use of collaborative robots — also known as cobots — is expanding across the Rochester campus to support Food Service staff. You may have seen them in other cafes and kitchens downtown and at Saint Marys; more are coming next year. Word in the halls is that some cobots will soon sport Santa outfits.

Tags: Staff Stories

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