Mayo Family Still Living the Legend that Started Mayo Clinic

Posted at: 11/27/2013 5:16 PM
Updated at: 11/27/2013 6:15 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A lot has changed in Rochester since the Mayo family started the Mayo Clinic back in 1863. But one things hasn't changed, there are still Mayo family members that work at the clinic.

It’s been 150 year since William W. Mayo and his two sons Charlie and William started the Mayo clinic. It's gone from a work force of few to more than 55,000 employees.

Among those employees is Lilli who often has to answer one common question.

"I'm on Charlie's side," said Lilli Mayo Weivoda.

Lilli Mayo Weivoda is the daughter of Charlie H Mayo's great granddaughter. She's now worked at the Mayo Clinic for more than 20 years and she says she is happy to answer many of the questions that come her way from her curious co-workers.

"It's always you know respectful, but in the beginning I'll be honest, I wanted to make sure no felt uncomfortable with me being a Mayo, that I'm no different than anyone, that I want to do well at my job," said Lilli Mayo Weivoda.

Lilli isn't the only employee at the clinic that sees the two figures sitting in front of the clinic as family.

"My grandmother was William Mayo's daughter," said Hattie Mayo Hanert.

Hattie is the great granddaughter of William Mayo. She says she decided to come back to work at the clinic because of the role it's played in so many lives.

Watch part one of this special series, Growing Up Mayo.

"I wanted to contribute to the mission, just like Lilli said, we believe in it, our family does," said Hattie Mayo Hanert.

Hattie like Lilli says she always gets those same questions.

"I'm happy to share stories about it, because there are funny little things that people don't know and I kind of want to put a human side to it, because right now it's all edifice and statues," said Hattie Mayo Hanert.

And even after 150 years, both great granddaughters say it's amazing how many of their family's philosophy's still fit in well with the clinic today.

"We have a saying that my Aunt Maria always says is, many hands make light work, but it's carried on and works very well here at Mayo, the more people are involved the more it seems like the work load becomes lighter," said Lilli.

"I learned to value my education and take advantage of all the educational opportunities, there's always room to grow and that's the kind of approach the clinic takes, it's changing it's always changing," said Hattie.

With DMC and the growth the Mayo Clinic is about to see, for them there is no doubt that the changes are only going to further its mission.

"There's nothing but good things ahead for the clinic, because they really look at the big picture," said Hattie.

Even though the family is no longer in charge of the clinic, for the family members that still work here, they still believe in it just as much as their great grandfathers did.

"I have complete confidence 150 years from you'll be interviewing a great great great granddaughter or grandson, who will be saying I believe in this institution too," said Lilli.

Lilli Mayo works in business solutions and Hattie works in quality management and research. There are several Mayo family members that are still doctors today, just not at the Mayo Clinic.