Documentary Details Encouraging Results of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s Population Health Study

The Heart of New Ulm initiative has led to unprecedented community-wide improvements in blood pressure, total cholesterol and lifestyle activities. Visit to learn more and to watch the full documentary.

Minneapolis, MN – October 25, 2016 – A study by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) is the subject of a documentary about to be released by Health Catalyst, a leader in healthcare data warehousing, analytics and outcomes improvement solutions and services to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of care.

The study, Heart of New Ulm (HONU), is a first-of-its-kind 10-year collaborative venture with the community of New Ulm and Allina Health to identify people at potential risk for heart disease, then provide support and education to reduce those risks. The scope of the project involves not just medical personnel, but working with city staff and small business owners to find ways to help residents decrease their risk factors, whether by finding healthier food alternatives at restaurants or becoming more involved in community fitness events.

At the five-year point, initial results were very encouraging. The percentage of residents with healthy blood pressure levels went from 79% to 86%, and the percentage of people with cholesterol levels under 200 went from 59% to 64%. While this positive change was occurring in New Ulm, the national averages for blood pressure and cholesterol levels either stayed the same or worsened.

The role of health data and electronic health records (EHR) has played a major role in this initiative. HONU is mapping heart disease risk factors to use as a guide for community engagement work. To further the study, HONU developed a first-of-its-kind process to integrate screening results with individual patient EHRs at New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC). That allowed researchers to capture key behavioral measures at health screenings, reach people who had not visited a physician in several years, and identify patients at high risk for heart disease (or who currently have a disease) and offer personalized coaching.

This community approach is also a facet of NUMC’s work to transition from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement, in which provider payments are based on the quality of care, not the number of visits and procedures. NUMC is currently receiving nearly 50% of its revenue now in value-based arrangements.

The proactive use of medical data inspired Health Catalyst to create a documentary about HONU, to release on October 25, 2016 after being screened by more than 1,000 participants at its Healthcare Analytics Summit in early September. The documentary highlights the HONU project, community results and potential impact on a larger scale. It’s also a reflection of the recent Global Goals Summit (Sept. 18-24), as HONU is a logical model for Global Goal #3, Good Health and Well-Being. Allina Health and New Ulm Medical Center are clients of Health Catalyst.

“A lot of the success of our program stems from being able to implement interventions in so many different facets of the community,” said Rebecca Lindberg, Director of Population Health at MHIF. “We’ve worked with restaurants, clinics, policymakers, workplaces, and many other groups. We’ve built all of these relationships simultaneously, and they’re all coming together to promote better heart health.”

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 120 peer-reviewed studies. 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.

About Health Catalyst

Health Catalyst is a mission-driven data warehousing, analytics and outcomes-improvement company that helps healthcare organizations of all sizes perform the clinical, financial, and operational reporting and analysis needed for population health and accountable care. Our proven enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and analytics platform helps improve quality, add efficiency and lower costs in support of more than 70 million patients for organizations ranging from the largest US health system to forward-thinking physician practices. For more information, visit, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About New Ulm Medical Center

New Ulm Medical Center, part of Allina Health, is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout southern Minnesota. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 13 hospitals, 15 pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services that provide hospice care, oxygen and home medical equipment, and emergency medical transportation services. Learn more at