Carmen Kane: Senior Health Systems Engineering Analyst, Mayo Clinic; Co-chair, Power of the Purse

0045Hometown: Rochester, Minn.

Age: 55

Family: Husband, Tom; children, Blake, Meghan and Sean; three grandchildren, with two more on the way.

Wealth of experience: I started at Mayo Clinic as a lab technician and was in laboratory medicine for 23 years. During those years, I supervised the phlebotomy lab, was a training and education coordinator and the hospital clinical lab supervisor. In 1999, I moved to performance management in finance where I worked on process improvement and mentoring. About a year and a half ago, I began working with quality management services supporting the division of Cardiology.

Connecting to patients: I work closely with the care team: doctors, nurses and everyone involved in patient care. I’m excited to be back in a role that has an impact on patient care. In all
my work, I’ve always tried to help people see the connection to the patient, no matter what their role.

A heart for community: Community involvement has been part of my life for a long time. In the last several years, I’ve been drawn to the United Way because its work has such broad impact. They do a wonderful job of identifying the greatest need and then putting organizations together to collaborate for the greatest good.

Seeing the big picture: As you get involved with the United Way, it opens your eyes. Often people don’t realize the issues and needs that are here in Rochester. When you work with some of these programs, you see it. You start to understand it involves all of us. It could be any one of us who needs these services.

Book power: Supporting the Imagination Library through the Women’s Leadership Council and Power of the Purse is so important. Research shows that reading is the number one differentiator for success in life. Not just in school, in life. Kids who are read to start kindergarten with a vocabulary that has about 3,000 more words than children who aren’t read to regularly. That’s a difference you can’t make up.

For the fun of it: I love reading to my grandkids. My husband and I hang out with them and our kids a lot. We also like to travel. Sports have always been huge in our lives. My husband and I started the Lourdes soccer program 16 years ago. He still coaches the varsity boys’ team, and I helped coach the varsity girls for 10 years. Now I help the boys’ team by taking stats, wrapping ankles and pitching in whereever I can.

A caring place: The sense of community and caring in Rochester is strong. It’s reflected at Mayo Clinic, of course, but it is part of the whole community, too. It’s a wonderful place where people really do reach out to others.

Favorite children’s book: “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. I read it to my kids and now they are reading it to their children. It gives that very simple and always true message that love is unconditional.

Tracy Will is a freelance writer who has lived and worked in the Rochester area since 1995.