Harry J. Harwick holds a prominent place among those who made significant contributions to the growth and development of Mayo Clinic. Associated with Mayo from 1908 until 1952, Harwick was the key figure in developing the concept of lay administration at the institution. As a protégé of Dr. William J. Mayo, Harwick fostered the evolution of medical administration as an enhancement to group practice that frees the physician from the daily burdens of business affairs.
He joined the growing Mayo practice on his 21st birthday, assisting William Graham, who headed the Mayos' business operations. He also began to modernize the accounting system. In consultation with Graham, Harwick introduced a ledger card system to replace the ledger system then in vogue.
During more than four decades at Mayo Clinic, Harwick helped establish Mayo Foundation and helped develop the financial stability of Mayo and its enterprises. After the deaths of the Mayo brothers in 1939, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Mayo Board. He retired from Mayo in 1952.