[Star Tribune, August 11, 2019] Allina Health’s long-running Heart of New Ulm project is unique nationally in proving that a communitywide focus, led by a local hospital, could improve cardiac health. Allina invested $9 million in the 10-year project, which reduced the number of residents with high cholesterol, hypertension and smoking habits in New Ulm — a town known for the beers and brats of its Oktoberfest.
The project encouraged walking to school, moved healthy foods to high-profile spots in stores, and even changed food served at church events. “You think of [a meal with] the old Jell-O dishes and the like, and that wasn’t present,” said Toby Freier, medical center president.
The hospital also saw a decline over time in admissions for high-dollar cardiac treatments, presumably due to healthier patients not needing those services. Read the full story online at www.startribune.com.