MIMA began in 1976 as a journal club, but soon evolved into the present day format of three dinner meetings per year with two speakers at each meeting. In the mid 1990's, the Minnesota Department of Health requested to be a permanent member of the MIMA Board and MIMA's organizational document was modified to reflect this change.

The three main founders were Dr. Lance Peterson, Dr. John Matsen, and Dr. John Washington II.

  • Dr. Peterson, who was then the director of the Microbiology Department at the Minneapolis VAMC and is now the Director of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Northshore University Health System in Chicago.

  • Dr. Matsen was a pathologist at the University of Minnesota. In the late 1970's, he became chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Utah. He helped found ARUP Laboratories, a reference laboratory, and served as its first president when it opened for business.

  • Dr. John Washington II was the head of Clinical Microbiology at the Mayo Clinic. In 1986, he became the chairman of the Department of Microbiology at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Washington passed away September 5, 2010, at the age of 74.

The following people were also very involved in the early years of MIMA:

  • Dr. Pat Ferrieri, the director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory and the Outreach Reference Laboratory at the University of Minnesota.

  • Dr. Henry Balfour, professor of laboratory medicine and pathology and also pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. He is founder of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at the University of Minnesota and is principal investigator of its International Center for Antiviral Research and Epidemiology.

  • Donna Blazevic, who is now retired but previously worked in Diagnostic Microbiology at the University of Minnesota.

  • The medical technologists who worked in the Microbiology Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic were very active in the early stages of getting MIMA established.

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