Podcast: New Ulm gets to the heart of building a healthier community

AHA News

A small community in Minnesota is making significant strides toward its goal of eliminating heart attacks through an innovative 10-year initiative.

Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm (HONU) Project is a collaboration between New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) – part of Minneapolis-based Allina Health, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) and the community of New Ulm, a city of about 13,000 located 90 miles southwest of Minneapolis.

It aims to provide support and ideas to people who want to improve their health risks, such as physical activity, nutrition, obesity or tobacco use, among others.

The project and NUMC received a 2014 AHA NOVA Award, which recognizes hospital- led collaboratives that help build healthier communities.

“The collaboration between a variety of stakeholders and the awesome buy-in from our community has been critical to the program’s success,” says Toby Freier, president of New Ulm Medical Center. “Everyone has a vested interest in the Heart of New Ulm.”

Jackie Boucher, senior vice president and chief operating officer at the MHIF, has been involved with the Heart of New Ulm Project since its inception and directed the project during the first five years.

“Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States,” says Boucher. “While 
that's been our focus, it's about overall preventive therapies. Our goal for the project in New Ulm is to create a sustainable model that can be adapted to other markets that want to build healthier communities."


To listen to a brief audio podcast and hear MHIF's Boucher talk about how communications strategy has been key to the success of the Heart of New Ulm Project, click here

Topic: Community Health
Tag: Community Connections

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