Donor Spotlight: Mary Ellen & Mark Warner

Donor Spotlight: Mary Ellen & Mark Warner

Mary Ellen & Mark Warner

Rochester Art Center Finds Local Heroes in Philanthropy


This Spring, UWOC nominated Drs. Mary Ellen and Mark Warner in the Rochester Arts Center’s call for Local Hero based on their history of philanthropic dedicationservice and commitment to advancing patient care as anesthesiologists at Mayo Clinic. 


The couple have been Leaders in Giving with the United Way since 2002 and are currently honored as Tocqueville donors. This year, they have utilized a Donor Advised Fund in their giving which has allowed them to be proactive in responding to the need of the community through the TOGETHER: Greater Rocehster Area COVID-19 Community Support Fund.  


In response to their nomination, they shared their hopes:

"In our professional lifetime, we have experienced two profound infectious diseases, HIV and COVID-19, that have impacted the world.  We’ve been proud to observe the remarkable empathy shown by our colleagues in medicine and in our communities locally and worldwide to those afflicted by these terrible scourges.   The diseases and their health and social ramifications are distinctly different . . . but the evolving responses are similar and, over time, demonstrate the inherent depth of caring in our communities.  This inspires us." 

We have several wishes: 

  • - That communities make concerted efforts to increase the pace of cultural adaptation that reduces rushes to judgment based on inaccurate information and support empathic responses and a desire to understand the health and societal impact of major medical and economic disparity issues on individuals and segments of community populations 

  • - For communities to focus special attention on our youngest generations to enable them to best use their talents to generate and apply new knowledge in ways that make this a better world for everyone  

  • - That individuals become increasingly involved in voluntary efforts that advance our communities either through their financial support of programs or organizations or through sharing of their time and expertise 


Mary Ellen and Mark are parents to four grown sons. Two sons have history in the Air Force and Air Force Academywhile the other two are also anesthesiologists at Mayo Clinic, as well as their significant others  


Now, grandparents to nine grandchildren, of which, seven are girls, Mark expressed how he is increasingly interested in supporting opportunities for women. As a result, the couple started the Aviation Pathways Warner Family Scholarship for Women in Aviation Fund through the Rochester Area Foundation. This scholarship awards two $2,000 scholarships a year to female students interested in becoming pilots that live in Southeast Minnesota counties.  Mark himself is a pilot and skydiver. When they are not in the operating room, the couple can be found tending to their Rochester homestead and farm and spending time with their grandchildren. 


They are active supporters of several organizations and initiatives such as: the Rochester Catholic Schools Systems, the Children’s Museum, The Rochester Ronald McDonald House, Rochester Area Foundation, United Way of Olmsted County, and the Rochester YMCA, and they sponsor a hospital in Rwanda.  


Outside of family and philanthropy, Mark and Mary Ellen are active leaders in professional societies. Mary Ellen is member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, VP of BOD of The Anesthesia Foundation, and Chair of the Living History Committee with the Wood Library Museum of AnesthesiologyMark is a Chair member at the American Society of AnesthesiologistsPresident Anesthesia Patient Safety FoundationChair of Academic Advancement Advisory Committee, and Chair of the Mayo Military Committee 


United Way of Olmsted County is grateful for supporters like Drs. Mary Ellen and Mark Warner whose contributions safeguard and advance the wellbeing of our community 


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