People often ask 22-year-veteran Kay Thiemann why she has stayed at Mayo Clinic for so many years. Her answer is simple: “Because we embrace our mission to put the needs of the patient first. And because we are committed to delivering quality care for our patients each and every time. It is very important to me that my personal values fit with my employer’s values.”
As the operations administrator for the departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery on the Florida campus, people rely on Kay Thiemann for answers. But when Thiemann recently needed answers, she had faith her colleagues would come through for her.
On July 20, her son was brought to Mayo Clinic after complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath while attending a sports camp. As she anxiously waited for the results of his tests, she received a frightening call that her brother had been taken to the Rochester campus after suffering two heart attacks.
Thiemann says her brother Lynn had been on vacation in Iowa when the first heart attack occurred. “I was told he was taken to a rural hospital where the physician advised he was fine and would be discharged. He knew there was something wrong.” She said her brother insisted he be taken to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for a second opinion.
Thiemann was now more anxious. But soon, she had answers.
Though Ben had experienced symptoms similar to his uncle, Thiemann’s son was diagnosed with an extreme iron deficiency that could easily be treated. It was due to his extreme physical activity.
Lynn, however, was a bit more complex. He suffered a second heart attack during transport to the clinic and was determined to have a carotid artery that was 95 percent blocked. Surgery was needed to insert a stent.
“He was told by staff at the clinic if he had waited another 12 hours he would not have made it,” Thiemann said. “But he said he would rather have died trying to get to Mayo Clinic, than to have never tried at all.”
Today, both Ben and Lynn are doing well and Thiemann is even more vocal about the value of Mayo Clinic and its model of care.
“There is not a health care system that compares to the quality of care of Mayo Clinic and the compassion its staff provides to its patients,” Thiemann said. “When my family needs answers, there is only one Mayo Clinic.”