Our Mission

To improve cardiovascular health and reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke for all people living in Minnesota.

Our Vision

That all people in Minnesota are heart-healthy and stroke-free.

The Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention (HDSP) Unit works to make all Minnesotans heart-healthy and stroke-free by focusing on the prevention, treatment, and management of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The HDSP Unit does this by facilitating effective collaborations and partnerships across the state. We translate cardiovascular disease data into practice through our epidemiologic and community planning expertise for public health, health care professionals and the public.

The Heart Disease and Stroke Steering Committee, along with other community advisors, were enlisted to create a new strategic plan through 2020. This state plan covers the next decade and builds on the foundation of its predecessor with the same mission going forward which is “To improve cardiovascular health, with emphasis on populations with the greatest health disparities, through multi-sector efforts and strategies impacting community, organizational and individual actions, environments and policies.”

We partner with other MDH programs and organizations statewide to prevent heart disease and stroke, with a special focus on preventing disability, recurrent cardiac events, and death from cardiovascular disease. In addition, we are committed to eliminating disparities in heart disease and stroke incidence and mortality between different populations in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Unit Staff

Laura Hutton, Sueling Schardin,
Jim Peacock,
Megan Hicks, Mary Jo Mehelich, Albert Tsai, Stan Shanedling

Mailing Address

Minnesota Department of Health
Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Division
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul 55164-0882
Fax: (651) 201-5800

Laura Hutton, MA
Phone: 651-201-5495

Sueling Schardin, MPH, RD
Community Health Planner
Phone: 651-201-4051

James Peacock, PhD, MPH
Epidemiologist Principal
Phone: 651-201-5405

Megan Hicks, MHA

Minnesota Stroke Registry Program
Phone: 651-201-5436

Mary Jo Mehelich, RN, MPH

Health Systems Improvement Specialist


Phone: 651-201-5419

Albert Tsai, PhD, MPH
Minnesota Stroke Registry Program
Principal Investigator/Program Manager

Stan Shanedling, PhD, MPH
Phone: 651-201-5408


Updated Friday, February 13, 2015 at 10:05AM