Sister Lauren Weinandt, Mayo Clinic’s longest active employee, became a centenarian on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. To recognize this milestone birthday and her many contributions to Mayo Clinic and Saint Marys Hospital, and to honor her more than 65 years of service, Mayo Clinic presented a gift of $1 million to the Poverello Fund. The fund provides financial support to Mayo Clinic patients in need.
The gift is in honor of Sister Lauren’s 100th birthday and 65 years of service to Saint Marys Hospital, and is intended to match the $1 million Sister Lauren has raised for the Poverello Fund.
“I am overwhelmed by the clinic’s gift of $1 million to help the poor through the Poverello Fund. They matched the dollars we raised over all these years,” says Sister Lauren.
The Poverello Fund is named after St. Francis, who was often referred to as “ El Poverello” or the little poor man. The fund is the embodiment of the Mayo/Franciscan value of respect — treat everyone in our diverse community with dignity and Mayo Clinic’s primary value: The needs of the patient come first.
The fund has contributed more than $1 million annually to help patients and has assisted nearly 13,000 people since its inception in 1983. Sister Lauren, the Sisters of Saint Francis and volunteers have worked diligently, annually raising funds through bazaars and sales.
Sister Lauren said she dedicates this honor to all who will follow her. She echoes the message Francis left his followers: “I have done what is mine to do, may God give you the strength to do what is yours.”