Press Release

Medtronic Partners with Local Organizations and Minnesota Department of Health to Advance Health Equity in Minnesota

Medtronic plc

Pillsbury United Communities, Regions Hospital Foundation, HealthFinders Collaborative Will Implement "HealthRise" in Minnesota, One of Four Projects in the World.

MINNEAPOLIS - October 19, 2015 - Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) today announced that Pillsbury United Communities, Regions Hospital Foundation and the HealthFinders Collaborative have been selected by Medtronic Philanthropy to implement the HealthRise U.S. program in Minnesota.

Additionally, Medtronic Philanthropy and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have agreed to enter into a collaborative partnership, with HealthRise U.S. contributing to a larger MDH statewide initiative to reduce health disparities for heart disease and diabetes. HealthRise is a five-year, $17 million (USD) Medtronic Philanthropy global initiative that supports community-based demonstration projects specifically designed to expand access to care and management of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Medtronic Philanthropy will invest $2 million through HealthRise U.S. for the project encompassing Hennepin, Ramsey and Rice counties in Minnesota.  The Minnesota project is the inaugural site for HealthRise U.S. which, in turn, represents one of four national projects in the world. 

HealthRise grantees will bring unique expertise and services to the program as they collaborate to improve overall community-based healthcare services that help people living with chronic disease better manage their day-to-day health:

  • Pillsbury United Communitiesworks with underserved populations across Minneapolis to foster the resilience and self-sufficiency of individuals, families and community as a whole. The grantee will partner with North Memorial Health Care to serve the Camden and Near North communities, where their largely-African American populations are greatly affected by health and health care disparities. 
  • Regions Hospital Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization. Regions Hospital provides health care services in St. Paul and its surrounding communities, as well as for patients who come from throughout Minnesota, western Wisconsin and other Midwestern states. The grantee will partner with the St. Paul Fire Department, Westside Community Health Services, and Inver Hills Community College to improve healthcare access for low-income, Latino, Asian, African American, American Indian, non-native English speakers and underinsured and uninsured patients.
  • HealthFinders Collaborative, Inc. provides quality health care, advocacy and wellness education to people in Rice County who have limited healthcare alternatives. Since 2005, HealthFinders Collaborative has been providing a comprehensive and individualized access point to health and wellness opportunities. The grantee will partner with District One Hospital, Allina Health Clinics in Northfield and Faribault, Mayo Health System, Northfield Hospital and Clinics, South Central and Faribault Community Education, and Sterling Pharmacy in targeting underserved populations.

Each grantee will engage community paramedics and community health workers, two emerging health professions that will help improve healthcare access. As part of their innovative approach to Non-Communicable disease (NCD) management, they will extend traditional health care delivery into the community and home-based settings and engage the community and the patient in the design and oversight of the program to ensure relevance and inclusion.

Minnesota was selected because, despite its overall record of being one of the healthiest states in the country, it also has one of the nation's widest disparities between its white and nonwhite populations. When it comes to diabetes and heart disease, the differences in outcomes for vulnerable populations is stark. Medtronic's recent HealthRise assessment found that 90 percent of residents in "wealthier" zip codes were able to control chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension. Yet, in zip codes with a higher density of low income and vulnerable populations, 40 percent of the population had uncontrolled conditions.

Through the public-private partnership, MDH and Medtronic Philanthropy will concurrently implement independent health access programs in counties across the state, with the intention of improving health equity for heart disease and diabetes across respective target populations. As partners, both organizations will measure the same outcomes, implement real-time sharing of best practices, and collaborate on program evaluation. Ultimately, it is hoped that the approach taken in Minnesota can be replicated across the United States and around the world.

"We are thrilled to be supporting three organizations that provide critical health-related services for the underserved populations in Minnesota's local communities," said Jacob A. Gayle, Ph.D, vice president, Medtronic Philanthropy. "We expect that, together with our partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, our HealthRise program will succeed to strengthen community-level efforts to reduce the disproportionate impact of chronic disease amongst our underserved neighbors. Success here can help us do the same around the world."

"Minnesota is among the healthiest states on average, but that average hides significant health disparities for some demographic groups," said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Edward P. Ehlinger. "These disparities negatively impact our communities and our economy in many ways, and we need to address them if we want to achieve our full health potential. We are excited at the opportunity to work with Medtronic to deal with this significant public health issue."

As part of the company's push to improve access to healthcare and reduce the burden of heart disease and diabetes worldwide, the HealthRise program will launch similar demonstration projects in India, South Africa and Brazil.

About Medtronic and Medtronic Philanthropy
Medtronic plc (, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is among the world's largest medical technology, services and solutions companies - alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic employs more than 85,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in more than 160 countries. The company is focused on collaborating with stakeholders around the world to take healthcare Further, Together. Medtronic Philanthropy focuses on expanding access to quality chronic disease care among underserved populations worldwide, in addition to supporting health initiatives in communities where Medtronic employees live and give.



Rich Fischer
Medtronic Philanthropy