Historic agreement made between UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- Wednesday, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System, announced what they are calling "a historic agreement" to benefit the Chippewa Valley.

It's a big day for two local institutions, who announced their support to advance research opportunities in the Chippewa Valley. Wednesday morning, Mayo Clinic Health System and UW-Eau Claire, revealed a master collaborative research agreement.

“It brings together the resources of two great organizations of the Chippewa Valley,” UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt said. “Undergraduate research has been one of the essential things UW-Eau Claire has been known for, for 30 years. In fact, we were just recognized as a national model of excellence for all masters’ level institutions in the country.”

The master research agreement is the first of its kind between the two institutions; one that both say is a natural partnership and will benefit everyone in the Chippewa Valley.

“It will make undergraduate experience at UW-Eau Claire better than it already is, so it will attract more students to this campus,” said Dr. Rick Helmers, the Regional Vice President for Mayo Clinic Health System of Northwest Wisconsin. “It’ll attract faculty at UW-Eau Claire, it’ll attract staff and faculty at Mayo Clinic and so, to the extent we attract the top faculty and staff to both institutions, that's how the lives of people in Chippewa Valley will improve and get better.”

Dr. Helmers says that the more people they can attract to the area for research opportunities, will only lead to better health care and advancements for people in our area.

Right now, 45 percent of UW-Eau Claire students participate in some sort of undergraduate research. With the new agreement, they hope that number will rise.

Schmidt says they'll continue to work with other hospitals however this agreement makes it easier for faculty to find those partnerships which can be time consuming.

“It’s very stressful,” Schmidt said. “Faculty do research, by in large, teaching a full load of classes on our campus; they spent a lot of work to find research grants, assemble the students that can help with the research; so finding that external partner can be a great deal of work.”

Overall, the research agreement will help to bring the focus of practice from Mayo Clinic, together with research and education from university students and staff.

UW-Eau Claire says nearly $1 million has been put toward research projects just last year. The agreement will continue for 5 years, after that it will automatically renew for one-year periods.

Wednesday, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System announced a new agreement that will increase opportunities for research collaboration between the two institutions.

The master research collaboration will create new avenues of learning for UW-Eau Claire students and make way for projects that will lead to improved health and wellness in the community.

The 5-year agreement will allow the institutions to continue advancing research, that will also benefit members of the Chippewa Valley.

Representatives from Mayo Clinic Health System say this is the first master collaboration the institution has ever made with a local university in our area. UW-EC Chancellor James Schmidt also adds this agreement will only continue to enrich the already strong and nationally recognized research programs the university has.

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