A discussion with Heather Tietz, Community Relations Officer

The Mayo Clinic Health System is a network of clinics and hospitals serving more than 60 communities in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. These community-based doctors and their patients are supported by the highly specialized expertise and resources of Mayo Clinic. The system employs about 16,000 providers, scientists, and allied health staff.

Heather, will you please describe your role as community relations officer?

I work in the Community Relations Department, which is a team of six for the southwest Minnesota region and support from three hospital executive administrative assistants. Hospitals in our region include Fairmont, Mankato, New Prague, St. James, Springfield, and Waseca. I support both New Prague and Waseca, in addition to the five off-site clinics in these communities.

Why is it important for businesses to be involved in the community?

Community engagement is one of the key priorities for Mayo Clinic Health System. We work hard to build the trust of the people around us. We do this through continuous development of local partnerships, by informing and educating the public on health and wellness, and when volunteering within the community. It’s our responsibility as a business and individuals to give back and make our community better.

What partnerships and programs does your department offer the local community?

A few of our vital partners include the city, school district, businesses, and public health. Recently, we partnered with the City of New Prague and New Prague Area Schools to combine the Aquatic Center with our Fitness Center and create a health and wellness facility for all ages. The result was the new Fitness and Aquatic Center, where we continue to be their health and wellness partner — offering health content, educational presenters, and volunteers for continued growth and success of the facility.

In the spring of 2019, we launched our school Wellness Week at Eagle View, Falcon Ridge, and Raven Stream elementary schools. This program was developed for students to reinforce healthy habits in the classroom, at home, and in the community.

Another recent program we shared with our community was a summer Slim Your Screen Time Challenge. This program was promoted through local libraries, community education summer kids’ programs, and the Fitness and Aquatic Center.

This October, we’ll promote our third annual Community Wellness Challenge. This challenge offers 31 days of wellness activities along with exercise to help create stronger and healthier community members.

Community engagement is truly vital to the success of our organization. The health system continues to look for ways to help our surrounding areas to be healthy and well.

The Mayo Clinic Health System has an exceptional reputation. What do you attribute that to?

From my perspective, I believe it is because all employees stand behind the words of the Mayo brothers, “The needs of the patient come first.” Exceptional health care is offered at our local community practices, like New Prague, at regional hubs, like Mankato, and at our destination medical center in Rochester. From simple health care needs to the most complex diseases, people from all over the world know and trust Mayo Clinic.

As an active member of ENM Chamber of Commerce, what do you see as the Chamber’s most significant area of impact?

A chamber is only strong if the members are engaged. I am genuinely impressed with the investment many of the members make in the Chamber by giving their time, talent, and treasures to the organization. I also see that the Elko New Market Chamber offers educational leadership programs that the larger area chambers aren’t doing. That is definitely what pulled me in.