The Mayo Clinic has an AA credit rating and proven strength in attracting gifts as it prepares to embark on an ambitious expansion plan.
So observers say Mayo looks like a very good bet to make good on its promise to kick in $3.5 billion over 20 years to fund the project, which is aimed at bolstering the medical center's position as a world destination for health care.
Minnesota Public Radio reports Mayo received about $900 million in gifts and pledges from 2009 to 2011. And with an AA rating, Mayo's bonds are deemed as safe as those issued by the federal government.
Still Mayo faces internal financial challenges. Some of its assets cannot be turned into cash quickly, and it has huge obligations to the employee pension plan.