The "Resort" you don't want to stay at... but you feel you'd get better just by going in the door!
These were my thoughts as I toured the beautifully designed and decorated patients' rooms, surgical suites and Valley View Café in the new Mayo Medical Health Systems hospital in Cannon Falls. The 92,000 square foot structure overlooks Highway 52 and County 24 Boulevard and the scenic Cannon River valley.
Folks arrived to the event in charter buses from parking at the high school a couple miles away because the hospital parking area was filled with tents displaying delightful treats to eat, listening to Ray Sands and the Polka Dots along with outside activites for the children.
A Mayo One helicopter landed and you might climb inside and look around.
Some of us were encouraged to take part in the treats outside in the tents because the line for the tours was so long. This meant enjoying the view along with meeting more friends.
When we came back inside, I thought it would be appropriate to find a bathroom before taking the hour long tour. As a photographer it's not "cool" to be antsy and fidgiting when a great "photo op" appears! But even though the brochure said there were 53 toilets... (information you probably don't need to know!)... every one I tried was in use. But our guide Vaughn Bartch (who explained he had been in charge of designing the building) took my hand and found a bathroom just for me!
(This wasn't as embarrassing as the time years ago when I went on maneuvers with the Army up at Camp Ripley and they had to assign two soldiers to accompany me every time I thought it necessary! But I guess that's what "friends" are for!)
And now we were ready!
Along with a couple thousand visitors touring the facility last Friday, we were introduced to the idea of negotiating the hallways by following the green or blue carpet pathways. (Beats leaving bread crumbs to find your way on your trail.)
The areas were identified as "Neighborhoods" to create a friendly atmosphere.
It did this very well... to the point where I kept looking around to see if somewhere I could find the children's television program host, Mr. Rogers, smiling at me!
And the names of the sponsors of the various areas were familiar and made you feel at home.
But one door had me curious. It was labeled "Environmental Services." What did that mean? Some rare or sensitive material that needed protection from the public?
It turned out it was another name for "Housekeeping!" (I decided I was going to rename my kitchen at home too!)
Another delight was the placement of the Valley View Café with its windows showing the valley around. Here employees, visitors and patients can relax and enjoy a lovely meal.
All in all... it was a lovely visit... and a comforting thought to have this health service right here in the valley... "The green, green grass of home."
(See video on Cannon Falls Cable TV, YouTube or www.paulrosie.com - "Green green grass of home... Cannon Falls' New Mayo Hospital")