Personal Perspectives on Wellness from Kris Fortman, PhD, CEO, MHIF

From a recent interview in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Magazine

October 29, 2020

CEO Kris Fortman was recently interviewed by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as part of their Better Than Ever bimonthly feature that highlights executives in the Twin Cities who incorporate health and wellness into their regular routines.

In leading the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, there is a regular focus every day on healthy living and taking care of your heart, and as the article shares, Fortman considers her own wellness a top priority. The article shares her perspectives and experience, including as a mom of three boys and a love for hiking that has become her family’s favorite pastime.

Here are a few highlights shared by Fortman in her interview:

How has your regular fitness routine been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic?

In some ways it has improved during this time. Although work is extremely busy — and we are on-site at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation in order to conduct research — there is more flexibility where and when we get our work done, so I can more easily schedule in a walk or yoga class. 

It’s a big deal to change your frame of mind and “allow” yourself to do this. I am totally taking advantage of the outdoors, and then when the yoga studios were closed, streaming yoga classes at home — really missed the community of yogis — no replacement. Similar to how I feel about work. I miss hallway conversations and lunch meetings.

What are you doing differently to stay physically and emotionally fit?

I used to feel like I needed to push my workouts to the limit every time or it did not count. Now I find peace and companionship in my workouts. I have had more outdoor working walk meetings than ever before. We meet in each other’s neighborhoods or at parks in between or simply walk alone with our ear buds in. We have gotten to know and respect each other on a dynamic level.

Also during the pandemic, MHIF’s wellness committee has been putting out a remote wellness communication. I love it! It has fitness, comedy, meditation, trivia and recipe suggestions.

What’s the most stressful or challenging part of your job?

Keeping everyone safe, comfortable and employed during this time. And saying no. Everything feels important, and it is to someone. But we need to stay laser-focused and not waver from our core mission of improving cardiovascular health through innovative research and education.

Read the full interview in the article titled, “Better Than Ever: Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation CEO always on the lookout for a great hike,” available here.