Joseph F. Novogratz Family Heart Rhythm Center Established to Advance Research and Care for Patients with Heart Rhythm Conditions

Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® accelerates world-class heart rhythm research and education with $5 million charitable gift
Feb 14, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. – The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF), an internationally renowned cardiovascular research organization, announced today a $5 million charitable gift from the Joseph Novogratz family, to advance care for future generations of families living with heart rhythm conditions. This gift, made by Joseph Novogratz and his wife Amy, along with his three children Heidi Johnson, Chris Novogratz and Heather Vranich, matches the largest donation ever made to the foundation and makes world-class research and education possible through the newly established Joseph F. Novogratz Family Heart Rhythm Center.

“I've been through a lot and had the privilege of receiving great care, which led me to want to support this important research for the benefit of my family and so many other families into the future,” said Joseph Novogratz a long-time supporter of MHIF. “I'm confident that progress is going to be tremendous going forward. If I can support research that continues to help doctors understand heart rhythm conditions, then this gift will make a difference in the lives of other people. I’m looking forward to seeing continued innovation in my lifetime because of the amazing pace of advancing research.”

“I'm grateful to Joe for allowing me to be his doctor and to care for him in an environment that allows for continued advances in how we treat heart rhythm conditions that are so prevalent,” said William Katsiyiannis, MD, cardiologist and researcher, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation and president, Allina Health Minneapolis Heart Institute®. “With this gift, the Joseph F. Novogratz Family Heart Rhythm Center will live on for a long time. Every time the research team answers a question and publishes the research, it will honor this critical and transformative level of support.”

“The gift from the Novogratz family means that this research will continue well beyond our time here,” said Dr. Jay Sengupta, MD, cardiologist and director of the MHIF Joseph F. Novogratz Family Heart Rhythm Center. “It provides a platform and a foundation for this research to build on itself and continue to accelerate and advance. Patients in Minnesota and around the country will benefit from this tomorrow and for years to come and we're so grateful to the Novogratz family for this opportunity.”

The Joseph F. Novogratz Family Heart Rhythm Center will accelerate and fund innovative research focused on three areas with heart rhythm conditions that affect a significant number of people around the world:

  • Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death typically associated with dangerous heart rhythms. Research is critical to families who have faced this tragic event of sudden cardiac death to identify potential genetic risk factors and prevent this from happening in the future.
  • Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmias as people age. There are new technologies and research focused on advanced approaches to treat and cure this arrhythmia.
  • Cardiac implantable devices like pacemakers and defibrillators are lifesaving technologies. MHIF researchers have expertise in promoting patient safety with these devices, including tracking safety and effectiveness of new devices and participating in research to advance the technologies and procedures.

Mr. Novogratz has been a long-time supporter of the MHIF mission and received care for his own journey with atrial fibrillation, including treatments that have advanced in the last several years because of research. He is the president of Minneapolis-based IDI Distributors, a family- owned and operated company he founded in 1979 with a special mission: build an insulation distribution company that would supply the market with a wide selection of quality insulation and act as a true, professional resource for independent contractors.

Over its 40-year history, MHIF has led groundbreaking research and education across a wide spectrum of heart rhythm disorders. This new center includes MHIF’s established work in the Genetic Arrhythmia Center that was created to think big about how to treat individuals of all ages – young and old – with rare genetic heart conditions that put them at risk of sudden death. This work has enabled the MHIF team to identify new genetic mutations associated with certain conditions. Publications in leading cardiovascular journals has shared the lifesaving findings with physicians around the world to advance care for all families facing genetic arrhythmias.

“We are grateful to the Novogratz family for this significant gift that leaves a lifesaving legacy and accelerates our impact in heart rhythm research, including supporting the infrastructure for the research, staff and fellows to continue to challenge the standard of care for patients around the world,” said Kristine Fortman, PhD, MHIF CEO.


About 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 leader across all specialties of heart and vascular research. Each year, MHIF leads more than 220 research studies with more than 2,200 patients and publishes more than 250 articles to share learnings from research. MHIF research has improved the standard of care for patients around the world, including through the development of protocols like Level One, which continues to significantly improve outcomes and survival for heart attack patients.

Education and Outreach – MHIF provides more than 11,000 hours of education each year putting its research into practice to improve outcomes among health care providers. This commitment extends to patients and caregivers through a number of community health and education events to raise awareness of heart care and research, engaging individuals in their own health.

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s work is funded by generous donors and sponsors and engages in cutting-edge research initiatives with its physician partners from the Allina Health Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and at 38 community sites across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For more information, please visit

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