Press Advisories

2. 4. 2016 23:51

Prime Minister Sobotka meets Minnesota Governor Dayton and takes part in signing of declaration on further cooperation with Mayo Clinic

Předseda vlády Bohuslav Sobotka se v Minnesotě setkal s krajanskou komunitou, 2. dubna 2016.
At the conclusion of Minneapolis visit, the Prime Minister met over two hundred compatriots at a building run by Sokol, 2 April 2016.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka is continuing his working trip to the United States by visiting Minneapolis, where he held talks with State Governor Mark Dayton. The Prime Minister also took part in the signing of a declaration on further cooperation between Mayo Clinic and St Anne’s Hospital in Brno. The Prime Minister also hailed the qualities of the former Czechoslovak honorary consul in Minnesota, Charles Proshek, awarding him the Karel Kramář Medal in memoriam and met over two hundred compatriots.

The Prime Minister invited the Governor of Minnesota to visit the Czech Republic, accompanied by a trade mission. “Minnesota has the potential to become an important gateway for the further development of partnership between the Czech Republic and the United States of America. It has a similar industrial structure, based on traditional industrial production, there is a large compatriot community here, and there is extensive contact between Czech institutions and the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic Hospital,” said Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. There is particular potential to build on mutual contact among companies and research centres in sectors such as engineering, health, agriculture, energy and IT.

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of the cooperation between the prestigious US Mayo Clinic and its partner institution in the Czech Republic, the International Centre of Clinical Research at St Anne’s Teaching Hospital in Brno. Mutual exchanges of researchers have yielded results in the form of dozens of joint scientific articles, several awards for young researchers and a joint application free US patent.

In this light, the Prime Minister also took part in the signing of a letter of intent to continue the existing close and fruitful cooperation between Mayo Clinic and St Anne’s Hospital.

The Prime Minister also encouraged greater cooperation between the University of Minnesota and Czech higher-education institutions.

Award of the Karel Kramář Medal to Charles Proshek

During his visit, the Prime Minister lauded the contribution made by the Proshek–Fulbright Programme, which has supported the internships of Czech graduates of doctoral studies of medicine at the University of Minnesota.

This programme is named after Czechoslovakia’s former honorary consul in Minnesota, Charles Proshek, a prominent doctor from Minneapolis whom the Prime Minister honoured in the presence of his family by conferring on him the Karel Kramář Medal in memoriam. “Charles Proshek’s life story is remarkable, as is the activity of the programme bearing his name,” said Prime Minister Sobotka as he explained why he was bestowing this honour.

The Karel Kramář Medal is a commemorative medal awarded by the Prime Minister as a token of gratitude for demonstrable service in the restoration of democracy and human rights and liberties. The medal was crafted to mark the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the first Czechoslovak government and was named after the first Czechoslovak prime minister, Karel Kramář.

Meeting compatriots

At the conclusion of Minneapolis visit, the Prime Minister met over two hundred compatriots at a building run by Sokol. This is the physical-education association’s oldest functioning facility in America and the hub of Czech compatriot life in Minnesota, providing a backdrop for a raft of Czech clubs. Minnesota and the American Midwest were historically generally one of the natural centres of Czech immigration in the 19th century, and to this day there is still a town here called New Prague, along with smaller, originally Czech settlements called Třeboň, Budějovice, Beroun and Veselí.

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