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Claire Bender, M.D., receives inaugural Champion of Allied Health Award from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Alumni Association

Claire Bender, M.D. (I ’77, R-D ’80), received the inaugural Champion of Allied Health Award from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Alumni Association for her contributions toward promotion, advocacy and advancement associated with allied health professions.

Dr. Bender was dean of Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences (MCSHS) for 12 years – from 2002 to 2014. The award was created to recognize an individual who contributed a great deal to the school and allied health.

Dr. Bender received a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University and then enrolled in and graduated from the Physical Therapy Program at MCSHS. She received her medical degree from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, returned to Mayo Clinic for a radiology residency and then joined the staff.

As dean of MCSHS, Dr. Bender led changes that helped professionalize the school and allied health careers, including playing pivotal roles in establishing a University of Minnesota campus in Rochester and in developing a Bachelor of Science in Health Professions degree at the university. She also led development of blended learning, which combines online and in-classroom instruction, and interprofessional education. She also encouraged allied health faculty to pursue research and publication opportunities.

“It’s such an honor to be recognized,” she says. “This award means a great deal to me.”

Dr. Bender is a supplemental retired consultant in the Department of Radiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and a professor of radiology. She has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and 30 book chapters.


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