Mayo Clinic Values in Focus: Compassion and Healing

Mayo Medical Laboratories introduces “Mayo Clinic Values in Focus.” Each month, this series will focus on two of Mayo Clinic’s values and feature quotes and stories from our founders that exemplify those values.

This month's featured values are Compassion and Healing.

"May you always see in your patient not an interesting or uninteresting ‘case,’ but a human being . . . .”
– Sister Mary Brigh Cassidy

Sister Mary Brigh Cassidy

The Sisters of Saint Francis paved the way in instilling the Mayo Clinic values of compassion and healing. The name of their congregation derives from St. Francis of Assisi, who, though born to a wealthy merchant family in Italy, chose to renounce worldly goods for a life of service to others. Led by Mother Alfred Moes, the Sisters of Saint Francis chose to dedicate their lives to this same unwavering service, and in 1877, she traveled to Rochester from Joliet, Illinois, ready to serve yet another community.

“We have only today in which to work, to pray, to dream, to plan, and to help build a better world.”
– Sister Mary Brigh Cassidy

The Franciscan Sisters’ great compassion for others left them unable to stand by when a tornado devastated the Rochester community in 1883. Seeing so many in need, the Sisters provided care and healing to the victims, and soon, they identified a greater necessity for healing in Rochester, which they would help to fulfill.

“My vision is to provide care to the whole person and their family and to give the best care to every patient.”
– Sister Generose Gervais

Sister Generose Gervais

Even today, Mayo Clinic leaders make a pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy, each year to honor St. Francis, with the aim of applying insights from the pilgrimage to the care they provide as servant leaders. The lasting influence of St. Francis and the Franciscan Sisters keeps the values of compassion and healing alive throughout Mayo Clinic today.

Today, these core values are defined as:

COMPASSION: To provide the best care, treating patients, family members, and colleagues with sensitivity and empathy.

HEALING: To inspire hope and nurture well-being of the whole person, respecting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Molly Dee

Molly Larsen is the Web Content Coordinator at Mayo ClinicLaboratories. She is responsible for internal and external communications pertaining to the website and information technology, as well as editing content on She has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015. Outside of work, Molly enjoys working out, reading, Harry Potter trivia, and spending time with her family and friends, including Seamus, the labrador/mastiff puppy.