Photo caption: The renewed research agreement between Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin and UW-Eau Claire will give both undergraduate and graduate students unique opportunities to collaborate with Mayo Clinic Health System doctors, nurses and health care professionals.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have announced the renewal of a collaboration agreement that fosters opportunities for research, creates new avenues of learning for UW-Eau Claire students and makes way for projects that will lead to improved health in the community.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin and UW-Eau Claire first announced a five-year master collaborative research agreement in 2017. Since then, UW-Eau Claire faculty, staff and students have already worked on more than 40 collaborative research projects with Mayo Clinic Health System physicians and scientists spanning cardiology, pediatrics, oncology, interventional radiology and other specialties.
The new agreement extends the collaborative research work for 10 years and adds new avenues to expand opportunities for collaborative education across a range of disciplines. The agreement details a commitment to create transformative educational experiences and career opportunities for students to help meet workforce needs in the field of health care. The agreement will give both undergraduate and graduate students unique opportunities to collaborate with Mayo Clinic Health System doctors, nurses and health care professionals.
One research highlight from the initial agreement is the creation of the Blugold Biomedical Innovator Program. The UW-Eau Claire Blugold Biomedical Innovator Program was created for students pursuing a career in the health care or biomedical field. This nationally competitive program receives nearly 200 applications annually for the 10 coveted scholarships. Beginning with the 2023-2024 academic year, the program will include a total of 40 students, all of whom will be embedded in research and innovation to gain real-life experience on their journey to becoming physicians, biomedical engineers, scientists and more.
Other examples of collaboration include:
- Mayo Clinic Health System is the sports medicine provider for UW-Eau Claire Blugold athletics.
- Mayo Clinic Health System provides the medical director for UW-Eau Claire Student Health Service.
- UW-Eau Claire students have the opportunity to take part in clinical rotations and observation experiences at Mayo Clinic Health System.
- Through a Workforce Innovation Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Council, Mayo Clinic Health System and UW-Eau Claire are working together to address the need for more nurses, health care staff and nurse educators.
Through the Workforce Innovation Grant, UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System are pursuing innovative solutions to deliver world-class health care across rural communities. Those solutions include developing rural "health coaches" and training more nurses through new teaching methodologies made possible through collaboration with Mayo Clinic Health System nursing staff. UW-Eau Claire expects to graduate an additional 48 nurses each year with support from the grant, and UW-Eau Claire will add six new high-skill degrees, including a master's in public health; a doctor of nursing practice in psychiatry and mental health; a master's in exercise physiology; a master's in business administration with an emphasis in health care management; a speech-language pathology assistant program; and an online educator program.
"This agreement has already presented exciting opportunities for us to work together to help to improve the health and well-being of the residents of northwest Wisconsin," says Richard Helmers, M.D., regional vice president of Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin. "Mayo Clinic Health System and UW-Eau Claire share an enthusiasm for learning and discovery. I am very excited to see this work continue."
UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt says the extension of the agreement ensures students will have one-of-a-kind research opportunities.
"UW-Eau Claire’s collaboration with Mayo Clinic Health System has created remarkable undergraduate research opportunities for our students," Schmidt says. "Extending this unique relationship opens doors for students, faculty and staff to develop knowledge and discover innovative solutions that can move Wisconsin forward."