Our Team


Kristine Fortman, PhD

Kristine Fortman, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

As the CEO for MHIF, Kris provides visionary direction for the achievement of the organization’s mission, strategy, goals and objectives. She believes strongly in the legacy of innovation and collaboration. Every day, the MHIF vision of creating a world without heart and vascular disease is front and center.

Prior to joining MHIF, Kris served as the director of global engagement at Medtronic Philanthropy. Under Kris’ leadership, Global Engagement underwent phenomenal growth and demonstrated impressive impact on communities around the globe. At the heart of Kris’ focus was the activation of 86,000 employees who channeled their time and resources toward health-focused community development and social investment.

Kris has built a track record in building effective teams, leading strategic initiatives, engaging diverse stakeholders, and translating complex science into meaningful stories. This is evident from her time building a research portfolio at HealthPartners Research Foundation, leading a team of scientists at Medtronic and most recently in her leadership at Medtronic Philanthropy. In her professional and personal life, she serves as a passionate advocate for improving community health. She currently serves on the board of the Minnesota Region of the American Red Cross, and an ex-officio member on the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation Board.

Kris earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Benedict, and holds an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. focused on Health Communication from Washington State University. She was a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Kris lives in White Bear Lake, Minn., with her husband and three sons.

Scott Sharkey, MD

Scott Sharkey, MD

Chief Medical Officer

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

Scott’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

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

Jan Dick

Jan Dick

Chief Talent, Education and Strategy Officer

Jan Dick has spent her career helping organizations grow and achieve their vision, with a passion for building healthy cultures where employees thrive. Jan focuses on human resources, leadership development and organizational culture, as well as professional education.

Prior to joining MHIF, Jan was an organizational development practice leader and consultant with The Bailey Group, a Twin Cities leadership consulting firm, where she coached organizations and leaders to achieve their highest performance. Jan’s consulting career followed a successful career as senior vice president of human resources at American Medical Systems, Schneider and Pfizer, where she help build effective and resilient organizations during periods of significant growth and change.

A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with majors in psychology and communications, Jan serves on the boards of Project for Pride in Living, the Minnesota Autism Center and the Crown Council at Gustavus.

Ross Garberich, MS, MBA

Ross Garberich, MS, MBA

Director, Scientific Services

Ross Garberich serves as the Senior Director of Scientific Services for the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. He provides leadership for MHIF’s investigator-initiated research program; partnering with physicians to deliver on MHIF’s mission of innovation by answering research questions and identifying pathways to improve patient care.

In his 15 years at MHIF, Ross has an established track record of designing programs and teams which provide researchers with the tools and services they need to design, conduct, and disseminate research. He has extensive knowledge of leveraging clinical EMRs, data warehouses, and statistics to help execute research and quality improvement studies. With a passion for collaboration, Ross has co-authored over 125 peer-reviewed publications spanning all sub-specialties within cardiology.

Ross earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth where he also received a Master’s degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics and his MBA. He lives in Chaska, Minn. with his wife and two children.

Jesse Hicks

Jesse Hicks

Vice President, Advancement, Marketing, and Communications

Jesse Hicks serves as the vice president of advancement, marketing and communications for the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. Jesse provides leadership to our development team and has the honor of connecting the generosity of the community to support our vision of creating a world without heart and vascular disease.

Prior to joining MHIF, Jesse served as the senior director of development and interim president for the Hennepin Healthcare Foundation at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in Minneapolis, a position he held since January 2015. While there, Jesse and his team secured more than $25 million annually to support the mission of HCMC and support their patients, programs and physicians.

With a passion for philanthropy, Jesse enjoys his role in establishing a culture of generosity and making transformational change for an organization!

Jesse is a graduate of Saint John’s University with a major in psychology. He lives in Mankato, Minn., with his wife and three children.

Tam O'Black, JD

Tam O'Black, JD

Senior Director, Compliance, Quality & Regulatory

Tam is the senior director of compliance, quality and regulatory at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. In this high-impact leadership position, Tam oversees the necessary processes, systems and infrastructure that serve MHIF. She has deep experience in the areas of compliance, quality, contracting and research operations.

With a law degree from William Mitchell, Tam previously held positions as director of research at Park Nicollet and St. Paul Heart and as institutional review board director at Park Nicollet. During a consulting practice, Tam was involved as a special consultant for the University of Minnesota’s Human Research Protection Program in 2016 and 2017, and has provided compliance, contracting and operations advice to startups, health systems, universities and industry.

Tam lives in Hopkins, Minn., has a grown son and enjoys kayaking.

Lisa Tindell

Lisa Tindell

Vice President, Clinical Research Operations

Lisa Tindell is the Vice President of Clinical Research Operations at MHIF. In this role, Lisa is a key member of the MHIF Executive Leadership Team that drives the organizational strategy. In addition, Lisa leads a large team of clinical research staff who, together, drive toward operational effectiveness and compliance while delivering on strategic goals in support of the organizational mission.

Previously, Lisa served as a principal clinical research scientist at Boston Scientific where she successfully managed the execution of clinical trials in both the domestic and international spaces. She also served as a clinical advisor for the Electrophysiology Division, in which she authored worldwide pre-market and post-market clinical trial protocols and regulatory reports in support of post-market requirements, product approval, indication expansion and label claim support.

As a Summa Cum Laude graduate from the College of St. Catherine’s in Minnesota, Lisa has over 30 years of professional nursing experience in critical care settings, electrophysiology lab and cardiac rhythm device patient management as well as experience as a cardiology nurse clinician. She holds certifications in clinical research coordination and electrophysiology as a device specialist.

Lisa’s passions include health and wellness with a specific focus on nutrition and physical fitness along with the impact of cardiovascular health on youth. She volunteers and is the medical liaison for the Play for Patrick Foundation and serves as an Ambassador for the American Heart Association.

Lisa lives in Lakeville, Minn., with her husband and has two grown sons.

Charles Zaugg, CPA

Charles Zaugg, CPA

Chief Finance Officer

Charles Zaugg joined the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) executive leadership team as the chief financial officer in March 2014.

He has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, including holding positions as CFO at Volunteers of America and as associate vice president of finance at the University of Minnesota Foundation (formerly Minnesota Medical Foundation).

Charles’ areas of responsibility encompass internal and external financial reporting, budgeting, investments, tax, human resources, information technology, risk management and contracts.

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