Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Keep your body, mind and heart healthy during coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the coronavirus pandemic has progressed, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) is continually monitoring the situation and taking all necessary precautions to always keep our patients, employees and partners healthy and safe. During this difficult time, we stress the importance of taking precautions and taking good care of yourselves and your loved ones. Our hearts go out to those affected by COVID-19 and we are extremely grateful to our physicians, nurses, other care team members and everyone in our greater health care community for their commitment to caring for patients.

Important MHIF & Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Click on the topics below to view more about coronavirus and how MHIF is addressing the issue.

A note from MHIF Leadership


Dear MHIF Friends,

During this time of change and uncertainty, Dr. Scott Sharkey and I are thinking of you and hoping you all are taking precautions to take good care of yourself and your loved ones. We also would like to update you on how MHIF is navigating through this time, always putting our patients, employees and partners first. We are committed to deliver on our mission of heart and vascular health under any circumstance.

As you can imagine COVID-19 is impacting cardiovascular research and education and we are making the necessary adjustments daily. Many of our clinical trials are on hold so we can ensure the safety of current study participants and ensure our physicians are available to respond to the most critical cases. Research staff is busy reaching out personally to our patient research participants. And 14 members of our research staff have volunteered to serve on the front line in the heart hospital and clinic.

Specific research is able to continue during this time including the majority of our physician-initiated research which is core to our mission.

We are providing education remotely and have postponed large public education events. Our first Grand Rounds session done remotely was a success with 45 individuals joining us.

Although we have a critical mass of employees physically at MHIF to make sure our work moves forward, the majority of our staff who are able to are now working from home. This is an opportunity to take care of important projects that will strengthen the infrastructure of MHIF, helping us to be even stronger when we can resume all research and education efforts.

Most importantly we want to say thank you for caring about how COVID-19 is impacting the work of MHIF.  We have received many calls and emails with offers of help and support. It is encouraging to see so many doing what it takes to navigate these uncertain times. We are proud to work toward a healthier tomorrow with the encouragement and support from all of you.

We will continue to provide you updates as we move forward. Know that we are here for you if you have any questions. You can reach us at 612-863-3833 or Stay safe and healthy.


With Gratitude,

Kris Fortman, CEO

Dr. Scott Sharkey, Chief Medical Officer

Physician perspective on coronavirus (COVID-19)

A note from Scott Sharkey, MD, President & Chief Medical Officer

Minnesota has exceptional professionals working around the clock in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider Jan Malcolm, Minnesota Commissioner of Health; Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the U of MN; the employees of 3M (they manufacture protective masks), and Medtronic (they make ventilators); and countless other health care providers and industry partners.

At the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) our leadership team immediately developed a plan to ensure the health of our staff, while continuing our important research and contributing where possible. Some key highlights to share with you:

  • Our research cardiologists and advanced practitioners are available to our research patients during this difficult time. Please know that we will get through this together! 
  • Much of our research can continue because of our information technology infrastructure. Most of this research is part of physician-initiated studies that seek to answer important clinical and scientific questions that come from our physicians’ passion to answer, “what can we do better to care for our patients?”
  • Many of our MHIF nurses and phlebotomists have volunteered to help work at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
  • Lisa Tindell, who leads the MHIF research team, organized a blood donation campaign with MHIF employees. 
  • Our regulatory specialists are assisting our colleagues in critical-care medicine and infectious disease to fast-track use of experimental anti-viral drugs and novel ventilators. 

Research and science are the solution to this pandemic and there are so many people working hard to contribute to this around the world. 

MHIF has a 38-year history of innovation showing the impact of research and problem solving. We all will rise to this challenge. Our founding physicians and community members are more engaged now than they ever have been. 

Please stay connected with us through our website or any of our channels on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram). We would love to hear from you. We will get through this together!

Keep your mind and body healthy during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Health & Wellness Tips During COVID-19

  • As the weather warms up, walk outside if you can. Enjoy the sound of the birds. Be sure to practice social distancing — 6 feet away from others.
  • Call your family members and friends often; share something you appreciate with them at least once a day.
  • Continue to eat your fruits and veggies if you can! Fruits and vegetables are nature’s nutritional powerhouses.
  • Set a goal for something healthy you will do each day.
  • If you drink, drink in moderation: One drink a day for women; two drinks a day for men.
  • Write emails or letters to family and friends.
  • Write thank-you notes to health care workers and emergency responders.
  • Video chat if you have technology that allows it.
  • Continue to take your medications as prescribed.
  • Get more support. Talking to others can help you feel connected.
  • It’s a short-term strategy, but it’s tough to feel stressed when you laugh. Tell a friend a joke or watch a funny TV show.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Take a break from the news! Read a book, do a crossword puzzle.
  • Take five minutes to relax. Meditation is a great way to relax the mind and body.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Watch a favorite movie.
  • Do a hobby or crafts.
  • Look through old photos.
  • Make watching TV active: stretch or use hand weights (canned goods work, too) during the commercials.
  • Plan the garden you want to plant in the spring!
  • Pet your dog or cat if you have one; petting an animal for just a few minutes can also help relieve stress.
  • Check out this list of virtual concerts and events from CNN
  • Visit these virtual museums
  • Stream a Met Opera

Manage Your Stress Levels

It isn’t often talked about, but your mind has a strong effect on your heart. Stress, depression and lack of sleep have a major influence on your heart disease risk factors, and ultimately, what you do about them. In other words, people who do not manage their stress, feel depressed most of the time or are chronically sleep-deprived also tend to have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and are more likely to use tobacco or be overweight. These factors also make it extremely difficult to make improvements to your lifestyle, whether it is taking medication each day, eating healthy foods or getting enough exercise. Stress, depression and sleep can be difficult to manage at times, but with the right help, you can improve them.

Here are some companies offering free options for stress-reducing activities you can do at home:

1) Free Corepower yoga classes

2) Down Dog App offers free yoga and fitness classes until April 1

3) Calm App offers an assortment of free breathing and meditation exercises



Grateful Heart

Gratitude is strongly linked to good health. To stay positive during this difficult time, we’re encouraging you to focus on gratitude. 

Use the link below to submit your word of gratitude and watch our Grateful Heart grow! 

Sign up for ‘Grateful Heart Gram’ emails

We want to stay engaged with you! Get updates on what you can do during social distancing and how to practice gratitude.