History

Mayo Clinic Volunteer Programs include four volunteer groups. New volunteers are placed based on their service area interests and availability.

Mayo Clinic Volunteers

In 1993, the Mayo Clinic outpatient practice proposed offering patient amenities beyond those provided by regular staff assignments. With the expertise of Mayo Clinic Hospital's Auxilians, the development of Mayo Clinic Volunteer Services began.

Guided by former Mayo Clinic administrator Jim T. McNary and others, the program came to life with four service areas up and running in September 1993. At that time, most volunteers were retired Mayo Clinic employees.

Mayo Clinic Volunteers includes nearly 480 volunteers today. The program provides various services to patients, visitors and staff throughout Mayo Clinic's downtown campus.

Methodist Campus Volunteers

In the year after the establishment of Rochester Methodist Hospital on Jan. 1, 1954, Dottie Blackmun took up the challenge to encourage 40 women to join forces and form the charter group of Rochester Methodist Hospital Women's Auxiliary.

Eight women worked with Dottie Blackmun to create the structure for the organization, and Harry A. Blackmun, secretary of the hospital board and later a U.S. Supreme Court justice, wrote the constitution for the auxiliary. Rochester Methodist Hospital Women's Auxiliary was the first volunteer organization at Mayo Clinic and mentored the establishment of the Saint Marys Hospital Auxiliary in 1958 and Mayo Clinic Volunteer Services in 1993.

Built on the solid framework of the early founders and the dedication over the years of volunteers and staff, Methodist Campus Volunteers remains a strong organization committed to serving the needs of patients, visitors and staff. Today, the program has more than 300 volunteers and a variety of service areas.

Saint Marys Campus Volunteers

In February 1958, Sister Mary Brigh Cassidy, the Saint Marys Hospital administrator, proposed forming a hospital volunteer organization to a group of 35 women. By March 17, those women had become the Saint Marys Hospital Auxiliary, serving Saint Marys patients, their families and the employees caring for them.

Sister Mary Brigh referred to these volunteers as the hospital's "human relations ambassadors with love." Her encouragement and support, and the friendship of other hospital-based sisters of Saint Francis, infused the volunteer service with Franciscan values.

Today, Saint Marys Campus Volunteers includes 450 volunteers in service areas throughout the Saint Marys Campus of Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester.

Mayo Clinic Young Volunteers

For many years, a volunteer program for teenagers was offered at Rochester Methodist Hospital and Saint Marys Hospital. In July 2004, Mayo Clinic Young Volunteers was established as a campuswide program providing volunteer opportunities for students ages 14 to 18 in both the clinic and hospital settings.

Our volunteers come from Rochester and surrounding communities and strive to be service champions contributing to Mayo Clinic's primary value: The needs of the patient come first.

Program participants have a wonderful opportunity to experience the Mayo Clinic environment, which often contributes to their interest in pursuing health care careers. Approximately 250 volunteers participate annually in a myriad of service areas.