Mayo Clinic Volunteer Programs Merges with the Office of Patient Experience in New Administrative Pilot Program

Dec 2, 2020 | Rebecca Hynes | @hynesrebecca


Mayo Clinic Volunteer Programs and Gift Shops transferred administrative accountability to the Office of Mayo Clinic Experience within Mayo Clinic Quality on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Note that our financial responsibilities will remain the same with Rochester Hospital Operations.

This partnership formalizes decades of a strong, collaborative relationship between Mayo Clinic Volunteer Programs and the Office of Mayo Clinic Experience (MCX), and the pilot program complements each group’s shared goal of providing better outcomes for patients, visitors, volunteers and staff.

Forthcoming initiatives and benefits

A new tracking system — Under the new administrative direction, MCX staff will develop a robust system for MCVP to capture patient-to-volunteer interactions and organize volunteers’ observations. This system will provide measurable recognition of volunteers’ services, and it additionally identifies specific actions or services that impact the patients’ experiences.

An assessment of success — The Experience Research team is developing methodology and criteria to evaluate the success of MCVP. This approach will include collecting the perspectives of patients, visitors, volunteers, Quality staff and Rochester-based leadership. These core measurements gather stakeholders’ experiences and capture the impact of current MCVP practices.

An extension of collaboratives efforts — Volunteers will continue to share meaningful insights from their organic patient interactions with MCX staff, who can then plan and execute initiatives that improve quality factors. Likewise, MCX  staff will share actionable insights and recommendations from survey results and comments with the volunteers. This helps volunteers triage their efforts to areas of greatest need.

Recent staff transitions

A special thank you goes to our Volunteer Programs leaders who recently accepted new roles within Mayo Clinic:

  • Kim Van Rooy, previously our Volunteer Programs director, transitioned to the divisions of Endocrinology and Allergy as an operations manager on Wednesday, Sept. 30. For the past five years, Kim served as the Director of Volunteer Programs. Her 27 years of experience at Mayo Clinic include roles as Manager, Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center, Outreach Facilitator in Nicotine Research, Study Coordinator in Oncology, and Production Lab Technician in Pharmacy. She is also an Assistant Professor of Health Care Administration, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
  • Lisa Brink, previously a Volunteer Programs manager, transitioned to Mayo Clinic Laboratories Inquiry as a client solutions technical coordinator on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Lisa began in Mayo Clinic Volunteer Programs in 2015. Lisa has been a terrific partner for the Volunteer Programs team over the past five years. Since 2015, she provided leadership to the Saint Marys Campus Volunteer Program and No One Dies Alone (NODA) program.
  • Chris Rustad, previously our Volunteer Programs Operations administrator, will transition to the Charter House as an administrator. Chris joined Mayo Clinic in 1988 and has held several administrative roles, boards and committee assignments. Most recently Chris served as the Operations Administrator for Mayo Clinic Medical Transportation, which includes both air (rotor and fixed wing) and ground (Mayo Clinic Ambulance) operations, as well as Mayo Clinic Volunteer Programs.
  • Marie Aaberg, currently a Volunteer Programs manager, is retiring from Mayo Clinic at the end of this year. Her last day working on campus is Wednesday, Dec. 23. Marie joined Volunteer Programs in 2004, and she has been instrumental in the development and success of the Mayo Clinic Young Volunteers Program. She also served as the manager for Methodist Campus Volunteers.

Please email if you’d like to share a personal congratulations to our leaders on their new career opportunities; we’ll forward your messages to them. We are currently working with Human Resources to backfill Kim Van Rooy’s role and hire managers to support the new structure (see below).

Our interim organizational chart

org chart

Mayo Clinic Volunteer Programs’ recent accomplishments

As you know, this year had an unexpected twist with the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are a few top highlights from 2020 and 2019.

Top highlights in 2020

  • All on-site volunteer activities were suspended until further notice (March 17).
  • Volunteer Programs safely resumed several on-site services and other services are slowly reactivating in a phased approach (August 31).
  • Mayo Clinic Gift Shops were never shut down throughout COVID-19. Our focus was safely remaining a valuable resource to patients, visitors and staff during the pandemic. Our staff implemented safety protocols, such as reduced hours, social distancing, universal masking and environmental sanitization, to help keep the doors open and meet the needs of everyone.

Top highlights in 2019

  • 1,566 total volunteers
  • 129,489 total volunteer service hours
  • $3,645,115 total value of volunteer time
  • $366,828 donated to Mayo Clinic patient initiatives from gift shop profits
  • Volunteers range in age from 14–101 years.

Read the Mayo Clinic Volunteer Programs Annual Report for additional accomplishments and featured volunteer stories throughout 2019.

Final thoughts

Mayo Clinic’s unparalleled experience is possible through excellent service, compassion and comfort — something each of you provides to our patients and their families every day. We count down the hours and days until it’s safe to resume all volunteer activities and welcome you back onto campus once again.

Please direct questions regarding this announcement to 507-255-9912 or email

Many Thanks,

Mayo Clinic Volunteer Programs Staff

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