By Megan Zemple

United States Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Minn) toured the new Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building Friday as part of her 87-county tour which kicked off this week.

In December, Mayo Clinic announced its $5-billion Bold. Forward. Unbound. commitment to expanding the Rochester campus. The Kellen Building is one part of the ultimate expansion plan.

According to Mayo Clinic, the 11-floor Kellen Building will be dedicated to clinical research which includes hiring more scientists who will work to develop and discover treatments to advance patient care. Work on the building began in June 2021 with a lead gift from the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

According to Mayo Clinic, contributions from the Kellen Foundation and other benefactors supported the majority of the construction costs for the building. It features facilities for research to address serious and complex conditions, with a focus on discoveries in neurosciences and cancer research. Staff started moving in this week.

During her tour, Sen. Klobuchar said she wanted to highlight Rochester and Mayo Clinic’s mission to further advancements in healthcare.

“We wanted to make the point in Rochester that there’s incredible innovation going on,” Klobuchar said.

She said she also hopes the Mayo expansion will help inspire young people to pursue jobs in healthcare. She also mentioned visiting with high school students in Red Wing and Lake City Friday, where she discussed jobs in manufacturing.

“Getting them into these very lucrative jobs and making sure the people see healthcare, manufacturing; all the things that this expansion is about,” she said. “Because we know the workforce as the mayor knows is one of our challenges ahead.”

She said Mayo plays a major role in the United States when it comes to leading the world in healthcare.

“It matters to be the leader,” she said. “We want to be the leader here. Instead of countries taking the lead. If you don’t do the research, then you’re in trouble.”