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The Heart of New Ulm Project
The Heart of New Ulm is a project designed to reduce the number of heart attacks that occur in the New Ulm area over the next 10 years. This means helping residents improve their health risks, such as physical activity, nutrition, obesity, or tobacco use, among others. The project will involve community education, medical interventions and environmental changes.
The project is being led by Allina Health, a health care system, instead of the government. As a result, it will likely serve to change the way health care is viewed and delivered across the country. In other words, it could result in the entire health care system shifting its focus toward preventive care.
The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation is working in close partnership with Allina and the New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) to support this project in the New Ulm Community.
Why focus on heart attacks?
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is stopped. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States and they affect over one million Americans each year. We believe that targeted, sustainable programs in New Ulm will create a model that can be adapted to other markets to help build healthier communities.
How did New Ulm get selected?
New Ulm is a relatively contained geographic area that is primarily served by a single medical center—New Ulm Medical Center, part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics. Today, about 90 percent of New Ulm residents are patients at the New Ulm Medical Center and have an electronic medical record (EMR). This EMR provides us with the opportunity to address various population segments and disease risk levels with the goal of identifying, implementing and tracking interventions that will positively influence health improvements. In addition, New Ulm was selected because the community leaders in government and business indicated a willingness and openness to make changes to the New Ulm environment that support healthier living.
So what’s in it for you?
- Opportunities to participate in free community-wide screening programs (e.g., blood pressure, cholesterol) to assess your heart attack risk.
- Participation in programs to help you manage your weight, quit smoking, manage stress, increase your physical activity, or improve your food choices so that you can lower your risk of heart attack.
- Development of a community environment that supports a heart healthy lifestyle, such as labeling food in restaurants or grocery stores, building more sidewalks and maintaining policies that restrict tobacco use.
- Improved access to high quality medical care across a broad range of services.
How is the project being funded?
Allina Health has committed to providing funding for the Heart of New Ulm project for the next 5 years. Philanthropy will be a key asset to ensure the project is successful. The New Ulm Medical Center Foundation and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation have committed to securing additional funding through grants and donations.