The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® has deep core values in innovation, collaboration, integrity and excellence. The staff and physicians working to achieve our vision of creating a world without heart disease are passionate about their work and are leaders in their field. Currently we have two primary awards to recognize individuals for their efforts:


The Ray Bentdahl Distinguished Service Award, bestowed by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation®, recognizes an individual’s contributions to the Foundation through their accomplishments as a leader, mentor, philanthropist, educator, or researcher. This award specifically honors an individual whose achievements exemplify outstanding leadership and exceptional service to the Foundation, furthering its mission of creating a world without heart and vascular disease. The award was first awarded in September 2012. Past recipients include an esteemed group of physicians:

Profile: 2018 Award Winner – Jay Traverse, MD

Dr. Jay Traverse received a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a ME in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Virginia. He graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and completed his residency and cardiology fellowship at the University of Minnesota. During his fellowship he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Bache studying the regulation of coronary blood flow during exercise in the failing heart and was a recipient of a Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association.

He is currently an Interventional Cardiologist with the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Director of Research at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Cardiovascular Division at the University of Minnesota. His current research interest involves the mitigation of infarct size and reperfusion injury and the delivery of biomaterials and stem cells following myocardial infarction and in heart failure. He is a Co-PI of the NHLBI-sponsored Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN).

Past Winners:

2012: Fredarick Gobel, MD

2013: Robert Van Tassel, MD

2014: Michael Mooney, MD

2015: Kevin Graham, MD

2016: Vibhu Kshettry, MD

2017: David G. Hurrell, MD


The Robert G. Hauser Leadership Award, bestowed by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation®, recognizes an individual who promotes visionary leadership. Innovation in clinical practice and research requires champions who take risks to identify necessary changes and create innovative solutions to set those improvements in motion. The award is given to an individual who is a catalyst in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention or treatment, is a change agent that advocates strongly for the needs of patients and the profession and who is an influencer at Minneapolis Heart Institute®, the Foundation and/or related organizations that affect the landscape of cardiovascular disease.

Profile: 2018 Award Winner – William Katsiyiannis, MD

Dr. Bill Katsiyiannis is the President and Chairman of Cardiology, Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and Vice President Cardiovascular Services Allina Health. He is also a practicing Cardiac Electrophysiologist with special interest and experience in performing complex catheter ablations, as well as device implants and extractions.

He is the co-director of the Genetic Arrhythmia Clinic and screens, diagnoses and cares for families who have been affected by long QT syndrome, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), brugada syndrome, left ventricular noncompaction, catecholamine-induced, polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. He is a recognized expert in his field, speaking nationally on the latest in abnormal heart rhythms.

Past Winners:

2015: John Lesser, MD

2016: Wesley Pedersen, MD

2017: Paul Sorajja, MD