Penny Anderson Women’s Cardiovascular Center

Join us to advance the understanding of heart and vascular disease in women, how to prevent it and how to optimize heart health.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death of women, claiming one in three women’s lives. Understanding your risks of CVD and knowing the symptoms may save your life. Don’t be alarmed, just be aware!

  • Compared to men, women are less likely to receive optimal therapies, innovations and rehabilitation.
  • Women are underrepresented in clinical research.
  • For many women, it can be all too easy to focus on others while putting their own needs aside. That tendency can impact a woman’s health, especially the health of her heart. Family and friends can help women take care of themselves and their heart health.

Dr. Betty Grey on SCAD

WCCO interviewed Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation researcher, Dr. Elizabeth Grey, about a certain type of heart attack that is striking a growing number of women in their late 30s and 40s. It’s called SCAD — spontaneous coronary artery dissection. Dr. Grey states, “They are different from a typical heart attack…there is a spontaneous tear in an artery that is apparently healthy.”  She goes on to say that this type of heart attack can affect women as young as 20 and as old as 80. Research is currently looking at predisposition and prevention.

Tracey Conway - Pay Attention to Your Heart

Tracey Conway, keynote speaker at the 2018 Women’s Event: Hope, Health & Humor, encourages women to pay attention to your own heart.

Meet Jamie

For parents expecting a baby, excitement and uncertainty are a normal part of the journey. For new parents Jamie and David, however, they never imagined the situation they would face. When Jamie was 31 weeks pregnant with their son Carson, they learned that not only did she need to give birth via C-section nine weeks early, but simultaneously undergo open heart surgery to replace a heart valve and save her life.

Dr. Retu Saxena explains conditions that increase risk

Dr. Retu Saxena explains conditions specific to women that increase your risk of heart disease.
Patient Education

Dr. Scott Sharkey and Patient Kristen Bowlds Interviewed on KSTP for Women’s Heart Research

SCAD patient Kristen Bowlds shared her inspiring patient story alongside her cardiologist and Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) chief medical officer, Dr. Scott Sharkey, in an interview with KSTP 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.


Illuminating Hope at the 2019 Heartbeat Gala

Penny and Lee Anderson commit largest donation in the Foundation’s history, gift will be dedicated entirely to women’s heart health.


Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation Receives $5 Million Donation to Address Research Gap in Women’s Heart Health

Penny and Lee Anderson commit largest donation in the Foundation’s history, gift will be dedicated entirely to women’s heart health.


MHIF Women’s Heart Health Interview on WCCO Radio

Sunday, November 10, 2019 Roshini Rajkumar led a roundtable conversation about women’s heart health on her WCCO radio show, “Real Talk with Roshini”. The segment featured MHI physician and MHIF researcher Dr. Retu Saxena, who spoke about the disparities in women’s heart health and the establishment of MHIF’s Women’s Cardiovascular Science Center, which is committed to improving women’s health outcomes and addressing the need to #ResearchHer.


Know Your Risk

Calculate your risk for cardiovascular disease and discuss with your primary care physician.

Reduce Your Risk

Learn how to reduce your risk via lifestyle / behavior changes as well as equipping yourself with knowledge.

Take Symptoms Seriously

Symptoms in women can vary but include chest discomfort or shortness of breath. If you experience any symptoms, call 911 immediately.



Research has shown that OB-GYNs are the primary care providers for a large percentage of women, particularly young minority women. The Broadening the Role of OB-GYNs in Assessing Cardiovascular Health (BROACH) initiative aims to increase the number of women receiving cardiovascular risk factor screening at their annual OB-GYN visits by identifying the tools, resources and education needs identified from both the provider and patient perspective.

Publications & Lectures

Read MHIF published research articles & papers as well as view women’s heart health Grand Rounds lectures

Emerging Science Center

MHIF is uniquely positioned to become a national leader in the prevention, detection and treatment of heart and vascular disease in women.

MHIF has several enrolling clinical trials. If you are interested in participating in clinical research, browse the currently enrolling studies and search by condition.
The Women’s Heart Health Team is comprised of physicians, nurse practioners, nurses,  dietitians and research staff.

Women’s Newsletter

Periodically, the Women’s Heart Health Team will send out emails like this full of women’s heart health insights and happenings. If you’d like to receive future updates, submit the form below!

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