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Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

May 10, 2018
NCH has been a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network for almost six years—the first in Florida and seventh in the nation. Mayo Clinic created the care network to promote collaboration with like-minded organizations and physicians, share expertise, and improve the delivery of healthcare for patients.

Mayo Clinic and NCH believe that by working more closely together, we can increase the value of healthcare and make a difference for patients and our community.  Solving the most serious and complex medical challenges one patient at a time is a core competency of Mayo Clinic.  NCH admires Mayo’s culture and desires to learn from and emulate Mayo’s best practices.


Recently, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Frank Astor, Chief Strategy Officer Michael Riley, and I convened at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida with over 100 colleagues from forty-three care network member organizations that collectively have 23,623 beds, 18,415 physicians, and 97 hospitals from around the world including China, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines to continue to learn best practices from each other, drive better outcomes, diffuse knowledge, enhance quality, and network with peers.


Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, CEO of Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, shared that the medical-scientific-industrial complex is in the midst of disruption on multiple fronts—novel treatments, new medicines, innovative technology, unlocked computer power, disintermediation of payers, and global suppliers—all of which create opportunities as we uncover our “blind spots.”  Working with trusted colleagues who have different view-points facilitates seeing around corners, anticipating changes, maximizing opportunities—all to help the patients and communities we serve with a seamless flow across our network.


Just a few of many of the highlights shared during the day-and-a-half meeting include:


  • Artificial intelligence, which has about one hundred applications at Mayo already including very successful clinical matching for breast cancer trials and assisting in interpretation of X-rays
  • Use of Alexa to call up Mayo Clinic First Aid that gives step-by-step instruction for minor illnesses and injuries
  • Virtual reality and real-life-size 3-D printed models to assist surgeons with complex repairs, an example of which was the successful separation of conjoined twins
  • Resuscitation of donor organ lungs, which increased viability from 20% to 60% for transplantation, saving countless lives of patients desperately waiting for new lungs, to be housed in the same new building on the Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville that will have stem cell research
  • Immuno-viral therapeutics to treat cancer, noting that viruses can destroy cells as first observed years ago in the cure of Burkett’s lymphoma, a rare form of cancer endemic in Africa


Nothing happens when you stay home is an adage shared by my parents with my brothers and me when we were growing up.  Learning from the best—Mayo and our fellow care network members—rings true again as we have the common mission of helping everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life.


P.S.  DO YOU HAVE A COLLEAGUE OR FRIEND WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN UPDATES?  Please enter their email address at, and we will add them to our complimentary mailing list.  

Allen Weiss, M.D.

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.