A Fifty Year History of Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation

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9780981570716: A Fifty Year History of Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation

Who would have thought over 95 years ago that in rural central Wisconsin a small group practice would evolve into a huge medical network of more than 800 physicians and more than 55 regional locations complete with its own world class research facility? Located between the Soo and Great Northern railroad lines, and established largely on the escalating lumber needs of the growing country, Marshfield seemed an unlikely community to attract physicians and scientists. However, the commitment and vision of a handful of physicians came to fruition in the passing decades with the acquisition of individuals of similar values and dreams. In 1959, thanks to the persistence and vision of a German immigrant physician, Stephan Epstein, M.D., a fledgling Research Foundation was established to complement the growing Clinic of 35 physicians. Finances and facilities loomed as major obstacles, but these too, would be surmounted. Doubters became believers, and the community rallied to support the endeavor. It did not take long before recognition came to the Foundation through its published research, which led to financial support from outside institutions and agencies. Its early focus on farmers and their families grew into a center of excellence, the National Farm Medicine Center, and establishment of the Greater Marshfield Community Health Plan. Both would provide resources and health care for the many citizens of central and northern Wisconsin. During the 1990s the Foundation became a reference center for genetics research and established a reputation comparable to prestigious centers throughout the country. Within the past decade the development of the Personalized Medicine Research Project established a repository of DNA specimens from approximately 20,000 individuals that serves as an invaluable resource for continued molecular and genetics research. In addition, the establishment of a Biomedical Informatics Research Center as a major component of the Foundation has led to a growing center for computational science that has attracted both domestic and international scientists. These two centers have set the course for growth and research for coming generations.

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About the Author:

Dr. Mazza is an emeritus physician who is currently a senior research scientist at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. He is a Hematologist/Oncologist who joined The Clinic in 1970 and practiced his specialty for 36 years before joining the Research Foundation. He is a Master in the American College of Physicians and served as Director of Medical Education and Assistant Director of the Internal Medicine residency program and Director of the Med-Peds residency program at Marshfield Clinic. He is on four editorial boards of medical journals, has published more than 130 scientific articles in peer review medical journals, several book chapters and is the Editor of The Manual of Clinical Hematology. His more recent publications include a History of The National Farm Medicine Center, an integral part of the Research Foundation, published in 2006. He lives in Marshfield with his wife Ginny and they have four children.

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Joseph J. Mazza M.D.
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