The Heart of New Ulm Project Recognized with 2018 Heart Healthy Stroke Free Award

Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project Recognized with 2018 Heart Healthy Stroke Free Award
Recipient of Award from National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

MINNEAPOLIS / October 24, 2018: The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project received the 2018 Heart Healthy Stroke Free Award from the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention, announced today at the National Forum’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.

The Heart Healthy Stroke Free Award is presented annually to an organization whose work embodies the recommendations made in the national Public Health Action Plan to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke, a strategic framework to guide health practitioners and policymakers’ actions in two of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.

“The Heart of New Ulm Project exemplifies community collaboration and capacity building. This project goes beyond hospital and clinic walls to where health really happens, the places where people live, learn, work, pray and play. It’s a model for other communities to look to for improving heart disease risk factors — ultimately reducing heart attacks,” said John M. Clymer, Executive Director of the National Forum. “The positive impact that the project has achieved, particularly in the rural setting, and the way in which it is woven throughout the community is exciting and inspiring.”

Since 2009, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF), in partnership with Allina Health, has been conducting Hearts Beat Back®: The Heart of New Ulm Project (HONU) in the rural community of New Ulm, Minn., as a 10-year research demonstration project to identify and deliver the best interventions to reduce cardiovascular disease at a population level.

“We’re very honored to be recognized with this prestigious award,” said Rebecca Lindberg, MPH, MHIF’s senior director of population health, education and communications. “Over the last decade, our real-world research has yielded significant evidence and learnings as we’ve put recommended guidelines, interventions, system changes and policies into action while rigorously tracking and evaluating long-term health improvement outcomes. Our work has helped build a strong case that investments in population-level health programs can drive positive changes in health outcomes across a community, and we’re excited to begin our next phase of sharing our learnings about best practices with other communities.”

HONU has delivered an integrated array of evidence-based interventions in health care, the community and worksites, as well as implemented changes within the community’s food and built environments to support residents in adopting healthier lifestyles. One study that compared HONU’s six-year results with data on a national level from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that New Ulm’s improvements in total cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose are better than the rest of the country. Another study showed that over a six-year period, New Ulm residents are doing better in controlling their blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides than those in a matched comparison community without any population-level interventions.

About HONU

Started in 2009, Hearts Beat Back®: The Heart of New Ulm Project is a 10-year population-based prevention demonstration project designed to reduce the number of heart attacks that occur in New Ulm, Minn. The project is a collaborative partnership of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Allina Health and the New Ulm community that employs evidence-informed health improvement practices in community settings, health care, worksites, and the food and built environments.

About the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation®

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) strives to create a world without heart and vascular disease. To achieve this bold vision, it is dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education.

  • Scientific Innovation and Research — MHIF is a recognized research leader in the broadest range of cardiovascular medicine and population health initiatives. Each year MHIF leads more than 175 active research projects and publishes more than 175 peer-reviewed abstracts. Cardiologists, hospitals and communities around the world adopt MHIF protocols to save lives, improve care and create healthier living opportunities.
  • Education and Outreach — MHIF provides more than 10,000 hours of education each year putting its research into practice to improve outcomes. And, MHIF leads cutting-edge, transformative population health research to connect, engage, inform and empower individuals and communities to improve their health.

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s work is funded by generous donors and sponsors and supports research initiatives of Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Minneapolis Heart Institute® physicians provide care for patients at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and at 38 community sites across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. More information can be found at

About Allina Health
Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, home oxygen and medical equipment and emergency medical transportation services.

About the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention

The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention leads and encourages collaborative action to prevent the number one cause of death, cardiovascular disease. More than 90 organizations from public health, health care, industry, government and academia belong to the National Forum. It is a tax-exempt, independent non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.