Mayo Clinic Values in Focus: Innovation and Excellence

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

This month's featured values are Innovation and Excellence.

“The glory of medicine is that it is constantly moving forward, that there is always more to learn”
– William J. Mayo

More than any other, Mayo brothers William and Charles drove the values of innovation and excellence into the heart of Mayo Clinic’s operations. Even when first established in 1889, Saint Marys Hospital was on the leading edge of health care for its time. Within the next three decades alone, it had become an internationally recognized medical center thanks to the practice of the Mayo brothers and their colleagues. In this time, the organization developed innovations that remain central to the mission and work of Mayo Clinic today.

“. . . if we excel in anything, it is in our capacity for translating idealism into action”
– Charles H. Mayo

By establishing Mayo Clinic as a not-for-profit organization in 1919, the Mayo brothers instead dedicated the clinic to excellence in patient care, research, and education. They were known for keeping an open door to other doctors looking to further their skills, as well as traveling widely themselves to learn best practices. Their constant pursuit of knowledge and advancement, and encouragement of others toward the same, propelled Mayo Clinic to a nation-leading hospital.

“There are two objects of medical education: To heal the sick, and to advance the science.”
– Charles H. Mayo

Today, the Mayo Clinic values of innovation and excellence are defined as:

INNOVATION: Infuse and energize the organization, enhancing the lives of those we serve, through the creative ideas and unique talents of each employee.

EXCELLENCE: Deliver the best outcomes and highest quality service through the dedicated effort of every team member.

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.