The Heart of New Ulm Project

Groundbreaking Population Health Research

From 2009 to 2018, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) conducted real-world population health research with Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project (HONU) in rural New Ulm, Minn. MHIF designed the award-winning initiative in partnership with key community partners, including New Ulm Medical Center, as a 10-year demonstration project to identify and deliver the best interventions to reduce heart disease at a population level.

HONU integrated and connected a wide variety of programs, strategies, services and evidence-based interventions simultaneously across all sectors of the community — health care, community and worksites. By tailoring policies, systems and changes to environments based on the community’s unique needs and culture, HONU became woven into the fabric of the community and achieved impressive health outcomes. 

Unlike many research projects, as a result of the success of the partnership with MHIF during HONU’s research phase, New Ulm garnered the support of the community to keep investing in and sustaining the project for the future. The Heart of New Ulm continues today as a community-owned health initiative with a highly engaged leadership team and more than 80 community volunteers representing 35 organizations serving on various action teams. 

Prevention continues to be a key area of research as part of MHIF’s commitment to creating a world without heart and vascular disease and MHIF continues other population health research projects through the Nolan Family Center for Cardiovascular Health.

The population health transformation that the MHIF team helped engineer in New Ulm, Minn., was featured in a compelling 2016 documentary from Health Catalyst that highlighted the bold, groundbreaking initiative aimed at reducing heart disease. Watch to learn how Hearts Beat Back:® The Heart of New Ulm Project produced incredible financial and health outcomes to prevent disease versus treating it after it occurs.

Sign up For Our Newsletter

Stay up to date on MHIF news, events and the latest information on heart disease treatment and prevention.