Patient Participation

The Value of Research

Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) was formed as a challenge to the status quo. The founding physicians saw a need for clinical research across the spectrum of cardiovascular disease. They knew that, with dedicated resources, they could find new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat heart and vascular disease.

That spirit of innovation has remained a cornerstone of MHIF throughout its 35-year history. We believe strongly in the power of research to change and save lives, and in its value to individual patients who have no existing options to treat their disease.

When examined historically, research has proven itself to be an incomparable tool in the fight against disease. From 1970 to 2008, the mortality rate from cardiovascular disease was reduced by 70% in the United States, at a cost of just $4 per person per year. That’s a small price to pay for so many lives saved.

Research is essential to all aspects of cardiovascular care, from population health and prevention, to equities in diagnosis and treatment among races, genders and ages, to research itself. Without the tracks that have been laid by predecessors and peers, MHIF could not make the groundbreaking advances that we are making today. We’re proud to be part of the medical research community that is fighting to change and save lives all around the world.


—Janell Weber, MHIF research participant

Is Clinical Research Right for Me?

MHIF is focused on improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education.

Every year, exciting breakthroughs and new discoveries stem from research conducted at MHIF. These important findings advance medical knowledge, improving the health and lives of millions of people worldwide. Clinical research studies test new drugs, devices, and medical treatments to see if and how they work. We rely on—and are grateful for—the participation of cardiovascular patients to help us advance the field of cardiology and save lives.

Benefits of Participating in a Cardiovascular Research Study

By volunteering to participate in a research study, you are taking a more active role in your own health care and may gain early access to new treatments and medications. Benefits vary by research study.

In most cases, it is not known if a procedure, drug, or device may be beneficial. In addition, by participating in a study, you are making a significant contribution to finding new and better ways to treat you and people with your condition. Clinical research is crucial to the advancement of medical treatment.

Rights and Responsibilities

Specific participation requirements vary by study. However, in all studies it is important that participants be available for scheduled visits and do their best to comply with all requirements of the study.

If a participant needs to leave a study for any reason, we ask that it be discussed with a member of the research team prior to leaving.

Research studies are funded through private industry or grants that cover the costs associated with the study. Generally, any testing and services performed as part of the study will be provided at no cost.

Risk and Protection

As with any medical treatment, participation in a research study does come with the potential for side effects. Some may be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening; some may be unexpected or appear after treatment ends. Further, because of the nature of research, the treatment may not work, or, depending on the study design, participants may be placed in a placebo group that does not actually receive treatment.

Before you participate, you will learn the key facts about the study through the process of informed consent, and you will then be asked to sign an informed consent document. The document is not a contract; you can still leave the study at any time, for any reason. Throughout the study you will be provided with additional information.

At MHIF, we take every possible precaution to protect our research participants. An independent review board approves and monitors all studies to ensure that the risks are as low as possible and that participants’ rights are protected.

If you have questions or would like more information about participating in research at MHIF, search for an individual study, or contact us at or 612-863-3980.