Public Release: 

Twin Cities to host national health conference on community-level prevention

Features keynotes by national health care experts Tyler Norris, Nicholas Freudenberg, Reed Tuckson and John Bluford

Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation

MINNEAPOLIS - (October 31, 2014) - Health care expenditures cost our nation $2.8 trillion a year and account for $1 of every $6 of GDP. That's according to a paper published by the Institute of Medicine in September that makes the case on why we need to invest -- and reinvest in prevention. There is a growing consensus that if we want to reduce health care spending, we must reduce rates of preventable conditions that drive that spending and create new models that support community-level prevention efforts.

On Thursday, Nov. 6 and Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, experts and leaders from throughout the country who are promoting and working on such community-level prevention efforts are coming together in Minnetonka for the second annual national conference, Connecting to Transform Communities: Stakeholders in Health & Wellness. The event is being hosted by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation and Allina Health at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest in Minnetonka.

"The landscape of healthcare in the United States is undergoing momentous change and the scope of health care organizations is moving beyond hospital and clinic walls and out into our communities," said Rebecca Lindberg, director of population health at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation and program director for the event. "The conference is an ideal opportunity to discuss collaborative clinical and community-based models and strategies to improve population health, and to identify intersections between health care, public health and other key stakeholders as we navigate the new landscape."

Last year's inaugural conference brought together more than 270 attendees representing diverse community health stakeholders, from public health to hospitals to businesses. More than 280 are registered for this year's conference, which features an impressive mix of national and local thought leaders in the world of public health and health prevention, including:

Tyler Norris, MDiv, vice president of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente, founding director of the U.S. Coalition for Healthier Cities and Communities and an international thought leader on growing the reach and impact of the healthy communities movement.

Nicholas Freudenberg, PhD, MPH, distinguished professor of public health at the City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College, author of the much-heralded book Lethal but Legal and a leading voice in creating social movements to advance health equity.

Reed Tuckson, MD, managing director of Tuckson Health Connections, former executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at UnitedHealth Group, and author of The Doctor in the Mirror, an ongoing book and media project that supports senior engagement to enhance health and medical care outcomes.

John W. Bluford, MBA, FACHE, president and CEO of Truman Medical Centers, former chair of the American Hospital Association, and recognized by Modern Health Care and Becker's Hospital Review as one of the "Most Influential People in Health Care".

Minnesota Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger, MD, MSPH, will moderate a panel discussion on "Current Perspectives on Health Equity: Challenges and Opportunities," while Sanne Magnan, MD, PhD, former Minnesota health commissioner and current president and CEO of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement will moderate a panel discussion on "Producing and Paying for Better Health."

Local presenters for various breakout sessions include representatives from Allina Health, Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Minnesota Department of Health and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, UnitedHealth Group and several local and regional initiatives.


For the complete conference agenda and national speaker bios:

About the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation is dedicated to creating a world without heart disease through groundbreaking clinical and population health research and community outreach. MHIF's mission is to improve people's lives through the highest quality cardiovascular research and education.

Scientific Innovation and Research - Publishing more than 120 peer-reviewed studies each year, MHIF is a recognized research leader in the broadest range of cardiovascular medicine. Each year, cardiologists and hospitals around the world adopt MHIF protocols to save lives and improve patient care.

Education and Outreach - Research shows that modifying specific health behaviors can significantly reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. As part of its mission, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation has been involved in cutting-edge, transformative population health research to connect, engage, inform and empower individuals and communities to improve their health.

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services that provide hospice care, oxygen and home medical equipment, and emergency medical transportation services.


Gloria O'Connell
Allina Health

Teresa Ambroz
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation

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