University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota Foundation
Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

June 2008 Archives


Through assignments with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, the students are serving communities in 11 different countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. With eyes wide open to new cultures, terrains and climates, they are testing theories and applying practices learned in the classroom. In the process, they're discovering unforgettable lessons—maxims likely to guide their public health practice for years to come.

Kaye Lillehei

C. Walton Lillehei‚ M.D.‚ Ph.D.‚ known to many as "the father of open-heart surgery‚" earned all five of his degrees at the University of Minnesota. His widow‚ Katherine "Kaye" Lillehei‚ earned two degrees in nursing here. His brothers are all University graduates‚ as are their wives.

"The University is close to us‚" Kaye Lillehei says. "It enveloped all of us."

“If you’re going to try to change the war we treat heart disease, it’s critical to be in an environment where you can try new, crazy ideas.” - Doris Taylor, Ph.D.

University of Minnesota investigators were hard at work more than 50 years ago inventing devices and perfecting procedures that would eventually evolve into today's heart treatment mainstays.

In 1952‚ for example‚ F. John Lewis‚ M.D.‚ Ph.D.‚ performed the world's first successful open-heart surgery‚ which used hypothermia. Two years later‚ C.Walton Lillehei‚ M.D.‚ Ph.D.‚ led the world's first successful open-heart surgery using cross-circulation. In 1957 Lillehei worked with inventor Earl Bakken to create a portable battery-powered pacemaker‚ which served as the foundation for the Medtronic‚ Inc.‚ pacemaker that keeps millions of hearts beating today.


I'd like to introduce the Lillehei Heart Institute's new newsletter‚ Innovators at Heart. You are receiving this newsletter because you have supported or otherwise shown interest in cardiovascular research‚ care‚ and service at the University of Minnesota.

With this publication‚ we will keep you informed of the many advances we're making toward better treatments for cardiovascular disease and ways to prevent damage to the heart altogether.


Marguerite Queneau was never inclined to complacency. After earning her undergraduate degree in home economics at the University of Minnesota in 1925, she quickly became an internationally recognized authority in the field of public health nutrition. Within about a decade of her graduation from the University, Queneau became the first public health nutritionist for the New York State Department of Health, where she helped build the department's reputation as a pioneer in public health nutrition.


With the stroke of his pen on April 28, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made history, signing into law landmark legislation to fund a first-of-its-kind comprehensive research project to find answers to lingering questions about taconite worker health. The bill was authored by Rep. Tom Rukavina and enjoyed near-unanimous support in the legislature.

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