Board of Directors

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) has a dedicated Board of Directors comprised of passionate physicians, community leaders and professionals. Serving in 3-year terms, the Board of Director role is an important commitment and investment of time. Some individuals first join a Committee of the Board before becoming a member of the Board of Directors. If you’re interested in learning how you may become involved, please click here.

Michael Peterson, MD

Michael Peterson, MD

Dr. Peterson is currently the director of the EP lab and cardiovascular chair at United Hospital, and his passion is to bring the highest level of cardiovascular healthcare to our world. He is proud to be on MHIF's board of directors as he believes the MHIF mission of research and education is a pivotal component of clinical care, and MHIF is uniquely poised to connect the researchers, educators, providers, patients and their loved ones for best outcomes.

Dr. Peterson holds a B.S. University of Notre Dame and M.D. from Medical College of Wisconsin.

Cheri Rolnick, PhD, MPH

Cheri Rolnick, PhD, MPH

Cheri Rolnick, PhD, MPH, joined the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation Board after talking with MHIF CEO Kristine Fortman about MHIF's interest in women's heart health research. Cheri graduated from the University of MN with a doctorate in epidemiology. She was formerly the Associate Director of Research at HealthPartners Research Foundation (now called HealthPartners Research Institute). She focused on women's health and access to care. 

Retu Saxena, MD

Retu Saxena, MD

Dr. Retu Saxena is a general cardiologist at Minneapolis Heart Institute® with expertise in women’s heart disease, noninvasive imaging and critical care, as well as specific research interests related to cardiovascular risk factors that emerge during pregnancy. She has provided training to ob-gyn and women’s care practitioners to help them better manage risk among their patients as part of MHIF’s BROACH initiative (Broadening the Role of Ob-Gyns in Assessing Cardiovascular Health). Dr. Saxena was recognized as a 2020 Top Doctor in Mpls St. Paul Magazine and also Minnesota Monthly.

Research interests:

  • Nuclear medicine
  • Echocardiography
Scott Sharkey, MD

Scott Sharkey, MD

Dr. Scott Sharkey is the chief medical officer for MHIF as well as a practicing cardiologist at Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia.

Dr. Sharkey's research interests include:

  • Acute takotsubo (stress)
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Ventricular fibrillation complicating acute myocardial infarction
  • Acute myocardial
  • Infarction in the absence of significant coronary artery disease
  • Appropriate use of troponin testing

Dr. Sharkey completed medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine followed by a residency at Maine Medical Center and fellowship at University of Minnesota.

Jeffrey Steinle, JD

Jeffrey Steinle, JD

Jeff Steinle is the chair of the MHIF Board and works as an attorney at Fredrikson and Byron advising health care clients.

Jeff's passion for the health care industry developed starting in 2004, when his father had a heart attack on the family farm and was flown from his local hospital in St. James to Abbott Northwestern Hospital where he had a quadruple bypass. Jeff was practicing law at a large law firm in Chicago at the time, but while his dad was recovering from surgery, he took a job interview at Medtronic in Minnesota. He got the job and developed a passion for helping health care companies develop and commercialize medical technology, attracting investors and completing M&A transactions. MHIF is at the crossroads of his professional passion and his personal gratitude; his dad is doing great.

Benjamin Sun, MD

Benjamin Sun, MD

Dr. Benjamin Sun is a thoracic surgeon at Minneapolis Heart Institute® and MHIF researcher. He has a special interest in complex aortic and mitral valve surgery, heart transplantation, aortic root and aortic arch surgery, mechanical support, artificial heart and congestive heart failure surgery.

Professional interests:

  • Ventricular assist device
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysms
  • Surgery for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Heart, artificial
  • Mitral valve
  • Aortic valve
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve diseases
  • Heart failure, congestive
  • Heart transplantation
Jay H. Traverse, MD

Jay H. Traverse, MD

Dr. Jay Traverse is a senior consulting cardiologist at Minneapolis Heart Institute® and the director of research at MHIF. His special interests include interventional cardiology, stem cell therapy, biomaterials and ischemia/reperfusion injury. He is also an associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.

Research interests:

  • Stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease
  • Mitigation of reperfusion injury and infarct size
Raymond Yu, Ed.D

Raymond Yu, Ed.D

I am passionate about improving students’ educational outcomes through the promotion of student health and wellness practices. We know early influences can have lasting benefits, and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® is the perfect partner for educating students about lifelong, heart-healthy habits!

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