The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: Heart of New Ulm Initiative

by rferron


I sat in a lounge flipping through the latest edition of Minneapolis St Paul Magazine, waiting to get my oil changed… and I ran across a fascinating article about the city of New Ulm.

This little town has taken it upon itself to reduce the number of heart attacks that occur in the New Ulm area over the next 10 years… and it has actually gotten some community-wide momentum. In partnership with Allina Health, local restaurants, and (according to stats in MSPmag) about 96% participation by the community in at least some part of the program.

It is certainly an impressive idea to call for community-wide change, and even more impressive that it seems to slowly be working (again, according the MSPmag, about every metric of health, from average weight or cholesterol to the number of heart surgeries, have all seen slow improvement over the course of the program.)

I’m curious to find more details about how the communication happened in the beginning, and what some of the social perceptions have been along the way. (Read more about the initiative at