The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation has announced a $5 million gift from former trustee Penny Anderson and her husband, Lee, in support of research focused on women's cardiovascular health.
The largest gift in the organization's thirty-seven-year history will fund a new women's heart health program aimed at advancing innovative, evidence-based research and translating that evidence into enhanced patient care. According to the institute, women are less likely than men to benefit from optimal cardiovascular-related therapies, innovations, and rehabilitation. In recognition of the gift and Penny Anderson's service to the organization, the center will be named the Penny Anderson Women's Cardiovascular Center.
"Historically, women have been underrepresented in cardiology research. In fact, women's heart health research is thirty-five years behind that of men's," said MHIF chief executive Kristine Fortman. "While some strides have been made in recent years, knowledge gaps remain, and disparities exist in healthcare delivery and health outcomes between men and women. The Andersons' donation will help to close this critical disparity."
The Andersons were early founding supporters of the institute. Lee Anderson is the owner and chair of the Minnesota-based APi Group Inc., a holding company for construction and fire-protection firms.
"Contrary to popular belief, just as many women die from heart disease each year as do men. I have been diagnosed with a heart ailment as were other members of my family, and I was fortunate to have the best treatment available at the time," said Penny Anderson. "MHIF is poised to lead in women's cardiovascular health, helping to close the gap that exists, and I am honored to be part of this important effort."