New Ulm cuts heart attacks by 24 percent with preventive health

[Scientific American, April 03, 2011] The town of New Ulm, Minn., some 90 miles outside of Minneapolis, is small. With a population of about 15,000, the self-proclaimed polka capital of the U.S. might not seem like the most obvious locale to roll out an aggressive, unconventional attack on heart disease.

But for the past couple years, Allina Hospitals & Clinics' New Ulm Medical Center and the Minneapolis Heart Institute have been doing just that in a program called the Heart of New Ulm, using an array of preventive health tactics that include everything from state-of-the-art electronic health records to free water aerobics classes.

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