Mayo Clinic Rochester Shared Value Award

Health is shaped by community. Efforts to improve health in our communities require cross-sector collaboration (businesses, non-profits, government, citizen advocacy groups), where many perspectives, strengths and resources come together to address complex challenges, such as poverty, homelessness, mental health, obesity, diabetes and disease prevention. As Mayo Clinic founder, Dr. William Worrall Mayo, stated describing the broad expertise needed to best serve the interests of each patient: “a union of forces is necessary.”

The Mayo Clinic Shared Value Award supports a new or existing collaborative effort to address a complex social challenge impacting health and vibrancy in Olmsted County, MN.


The Shared Value Award will be granted annually and provides up to $30,000 for a collaborative project that represents a partnership of three or more organizations and meets the following criteria:

  1. Directly or indirectly helps to address an Olmsted County Minnesota Community Health Needs Assessment priority (mental health, obesity, injury prevention, financial stress, and vaccine-preventable diseases) (mental health, obesity, type-2 diabetes, homelessness/poverty, and vaccine-preventable diseases)
  2. Includes at least one tax-exempt organization to serve as the fiscal agent
  3. Increases the community’s capacity to improve health and vibrancy in Olmsted County, MN
  4. Uses shared goals, definitions and measurements to guide efforts and assess outcomes

Ideal projects will include collaborations of the non-profit, government and business sectors of our community. The awarded project will receive one check (for up to $30,000) and be required to report on progress/impacts at six months (by February 28 of the year after the grant is awarded), and at the end of one year (November 30 the following year after the grant is awarded). Projects that demonstrate shared value (for organizations and the wider community) and continue beyond one year are eligible to re-apply in subsequent years.

'Eat, Play, Grow' wins 2017 Mayo Clinic Shared Value Award

Mayo Clinic staff voted overwhelmingly that local efforts to empower children and families to eat, play and grow healthier should win the 2017 Shared Value Award. The annual award provides $30,000 in funding to a collaborative community effort that addresses a priority local community health need. 

"Eat, Play, Grow" is a program that aims to address obesity and financial stress — two health needs identified in the 2016 Olmsted County Community Health Needs Assessment. It also is a project that honors a core Mayo Clinic value: teamwork. Each partner in the project plays an important role in helping up to 900 local children and families make better choices in what they eat and how they play to grow healthfully. Those partners are:

  1. Minnesota Children's Museum — Rochester
  2. The group is developing the program curriculum and providing space for activities.

  3. Olmsted County Public Health
  4. The group is developing the program curriculum and providing space for activities.

  5. Families First of Minnesota
  6. The group is developing the program curriculum and providing space for activities.

  7. Childhood Obesity Task Force
  8. The group is developing the program curriculum and providing space for activities.

  9. Rochester Hy-Vee stores
  10. The group is developing the program curriculum and providing space for activities.

"We know that one-third of our school-age children in Rochester qualify for free and reduced lunches," says Heidi Mestad, executive director for the Minnesota Children's Museum — Rochester. For a lot of families, it is very difficult to eat healthfully on a tight budget."

Mestad says the Mayo Clinic Shared Value Award and grant will help grow the support for families in the community and make it easier for kids and families to choose nutritious, affordable foods; prepare them; and incorporate fun, physical activities into their schedules.

"Minnesota Children's Museum — Rochester is focused on health and well-being as a central impact area for our region," Mestad says. "With this grant and our collaborative partners, we will further make a difference and inspire our community members through experiential learning."

"We are very thankful to all who participated in the 2017 Mayo Clinic Community Giving Campaign, including advocates, donors and Shared Value Award finalists and voters," says Erin Sexton, director, Community Relations, Mayo Clinic. The other finalists' projects focused on interventions for adverse childhood experiences and efforts to address poverty.