The Mechanics of a Healthy Heart

MHIF’s inaugural year of an annual community event for  National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day was a huge success! We had over 175 people in attendance. A big thank you to our sponsors:  Edwards LifeSciences, Inc. and Medtronic.  The event educated the community about valvular heart disease and raised awareness about MHIF’s work and cardiovascular research. Read Dr. Paul Sorajja’s editorial on valvular heart disease below and why this initiative is so important to MHIF!

# of Americans Diagnosed with Heart Valve Disease


Of People Know Nothing About Heart Valve Disease

# of Americans Die Every Year from Heart Valve Disease

Heart Valve Disease – A public health crisis
By: Paul Sorajja, M.D., Roger L. and Lynn C. Headrick Family Chair for Valve Science Research

A lot of health topics get attention, but there is a public health crisis happening that lacks awareness – and it’s an area where amazing life-saving medical technologies are advancing quickly.

The issue is heart valve disease and it affects 5 million people in the United States. Every day, 22,000 Americans die from heart valve disease, and the prognosis is very poor (1-2 years) for those with severe disease who don’t seek treatment. The survival of heart valve disease is worse than most cancers.

The symptoms of the disease include shortness of breath and fatigue. It’s directly related to the health of your heart valves and the flow of blood throughout the body. These are symptoms that are often associated with aging, so many people may not seek medical treatment.

Innovation in surgical techniques and medical devices for heart valve disease has led to treatment that can be delivered through the small vessels in the leg or minimal incisions and allow a patient to return home 1-2 days later. These treatments even provide options for the very elderly, who previously had none because they weren’t eligible for large invasive surgeries.

Medical research – including leading clinical trials done here in the Twin Cities – is greatly changing the course of this disease and it’s time for us to raise greater awareness. Forty percent of people know nothing about this disease.

February is heart month, and February 22 is officially National Heart Valve Awareness Day. It’s time we reach more people to let them know about this disease, including those younger and older who can be inspired to care about their heart health long before valve disease becomes life-threatening.

There are places to go for help like and Patient communities focused on the disease are growing, including through Facebook, and There are local institutions offering research, medical care, and education around heart valve disease. Ask your doctor about heart valve disease.

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® is a local, nonprofit research organization focused on improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education. In partnership with physicians at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, there are more than 200 active research studies going on at time. This includes research into innovative and less invasive technologies to treat heart valve disease. This research has involved first-in-the-world uses of some of the innovative technologies that are proven therapies today, like transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures.

MHIF established a Valve Science Center to make sure the research and education efforts continue. We are committed to changing the course of this disease and increasing public awareness, so more people take action to care for their heart valves. For more information please visit



• Public health epidemic of heart valve disease
• Importance of listening to a heart murmur
• Latest in heart valve disease research and treatments

This is a free public education event to be held at the Edina Country Club that includes dinner brought to you by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation®, a nonprofit organization committed to innovative cardiovascular research and education. Questions? or 612-863-2024

2017 AGENDA:

5PM – Registration opens and Dinner served

6PM – Presentations by Dr. Paul Sorajja and Dr. Mario Gössl as well as MHIF Research Staff

7PM – Patient panel, including former U.S. Senator David Durenberger, moderated by WCCO Radio Host, Roshini Rajkumar

8PM – Meet the Experts: Chat with a variety of cardiac specialists & providers as well as see a live demonstration of valvular heart disease

9PM Event concludes

View detailed agenda here.

About MHIF’s Valve Science Center and Valve Disease

A world-class research and education center for valvular heart disease, a life-threatening and debilitating condition when left untreated. Check out the Valve Science Center’s website to learn more about valve disease & MHIF’s expertise in treating this condition.

About National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

The goal of the annual awareness day on February 22 is to increase recognition of the specific risks and symptoms of heart valve disease, improve detection and treatment, and ultimately save lives. While heart valve disease can be can be disabling and deadly, available treatments can save lives, making education and awareness particularly important. On this day and throughout the year, the campaign partners—advocates, educators, and health care professionals—are helping to spread the word about valve disease.View the National Heart Valve Awareness Day website for more details.