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Documentary about Mayo Clinic to air on Tuesday

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PHOENIX — A documentary about a Minnesota-based world-renowned hospital with two Arizona branches will premiere on Tuesday.

“The Mayo Clinic: Faith – Hope – Science” was produced by filmmaker Ken Burns. The documentary will premiere at 8 p.m. on Arizona PBS.

The film, which features the voices of Tom Hanks, Sam Waterston of “Law and Order” fame and others, will focus on how the Mayo Clinic put patients’ needs first.

“The history of healthcare is a larger reflection of who we are as a nation,” Burns said.

“It includes advances in science and technology, but also touches on more universal themes of love and compassion,” he added.

“This is an extraordinary story that places our fundamental need to care for each other within the larger framework of America’s healthcare system and modern medicine.”

Dr. Paul Andrews, a urologist and board member of the Mayo Clinic Phoenix, said the institution has always put patients’ needs first.

Among the techniques pioneered at the Mayo Clinic Arizona, Andrews said, was “the first capsule endoscopy. Instead of having a colonoscopy, you can swallow a capsule…it can look through your GI tract and send a signal back to a camera.”

There’s also the laryngeal transplant program for those who lose their voice boxes. “They can replace a larynx with a (3-D printed) template,” Andrews said. “They’re also developing a program with stem cells to develop a new larynx.”

Andrew said Mayo Clinic’s cancer programs are also cutting edge. The documentary features an interview with patient and late Sen. John McCain, who died at 81 of an aggressive brain tumor on Aug. 25.

“We test individuals who have cancer to look at all of their genes and see what might be causing their cancer,” he said.

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