MINNEAPOLIS, March 27, 2023 – Though Minnesota is recognized as one of the healthiest states in the country, its communities of color in Minneapolis and St. Paul experience disproportionate health disparities due to historic systemic inequities.[1] Recent studies have also shown that children born into Twin Cities neighborhoods with annual household incomes of less than $35,000 have a life expectancy of 76 years, compared to 84 years for children born into more affluent suburban neighborhoods.[2]

To sustainably address and improve social determinants of health, the American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives, announced that three Twin Cities-based businesses and nonprofits will receive $440,000 in funding from the second cycle of the Association’s Social Impact Fund.

“Where you live should not dictate how long you live. Through the American Heart Association’s Social Impact Fund, local social entrepreneurs will be able to make a meaningful, measurable impact on the health of people in the Twin Cities metro area,” said Krista Moffett, executive director of the American Heart Association in Minnesota.

The second round of Social Impact Fund recipients are:

  • HousingLink simplifies the process of obtaining affordable housing by removing structural barriers through its Beyond Backgrounds Program. The Program creates equitable access to affordable rental housing for people with barriers in their backgrounds—past evictions, justice system involvement, credit issues—that would typically disqualify them from securing housing.
  • Dream of Wild Health restores health and well-being in the Native community by recovering knowledge of and access to healthy Indigenous foods, medicines and lifeways.
  • The Price Dynamic (TPD) is a Black-led family coaching and engagement social enterprise that works with single and co-parenting families to build courage and resilience to navigate systems that support the whole family’s well-being and stability. TPD provides communication and resolution modeling for families, training and support for educators and service providers, and facilitates court-ordered mediation and supervised visitation.

“By supporting grassroots and nonprofit organizations who know and understand the communities they serve, we can co-construct new pathways to achieving health equity,” says Gary Ellis, Minnesota philanthropist and longtime volunteer for the American Heart Association. Gary and Sue Ellis are the founding funders of the American Heart Association’s Social Impact Fund in Minnesota. “This expanded support builds on a successful first cycle of funding and underscores the value that these social enterprises bring to the communities they serve.”

While significant advances have been made in cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment, health results are disparate across economic, racial and ethnic groups. According to the County Health Rankings, only 20% of a person’s overall health is determined by clinical medical care, while the rest is determined by social and economic factors, as well as physical environment.[3] Approximately 50 million people in the United States are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease because they lack the most basic needs — healthy food, clean air and drinking water, quality education, employment and housing.[4]

To learn more about the Social Impact Fund and future funding opportunities, visit heart.org/fund.

Additional resources:



About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

For Media Inquiries:
Lisa Cole, lisa.cole@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org


[1] BlueCross BlueShield Minnesota. The Cost of Health Inequities in Minnesota (2018).

[2] The Amherst Wilder Foundation. Health inequities in the Twin Cities (2012).

[3] County Health Rankings Model. The County Health Rankings is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The County Health Rankings illuminate opportunities for improvement by ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation across four Health Factors: Health Behaviors (30%), clinical care (20%), social and economic factors (40%), physical environment (10%).

[4] United Way. ALICE: The Consequences of Insufficient Income 2017 Report.