Million Hearts® Recognizes Denver Health’s Heart Health Programs for Innovation and Commitment to Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes

September 15, 2023

Denver – Denver Health is honored to be recognized by Million Hearts® – a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in five years – for excellence in preventing heart attacks and strokes. The program selected Denver Health because of our commitment to the cardiovascular health of the patients we serve. As a member of the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact, Denver Health provides nutritious food options to all patients, visitors and staff. Employee wellness policies and programming also encourage staff to prioritize physical activity. Among the programs highlighted for recognition is an automated referral process for cardiac rehabilitation for eligible patients and a pilot program for at-home cardiac rehabilitation, funded by a National Institutes of Health grant, aimed at increasing access to vital cardiac rehabilitation services. 

The Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems Recognition Program is a national effort to promote proven approaches to tackle the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. The Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems Recognition Program provides an opportunity for hospitals to get involved in Million Hearts® and to be recognized for the ways they are improving the cardiovascular health of the population and communities they serve through the priority areas of: 1) Keeping People Healthy, 2) Optimizing Care, 3) Improving Outcomes for Priority Populations, and 4) Innovating for Health.

“Denver Health is committed to keeping our patients, staff and community healthy through well-being initiatives, nutrition education, heart health and enhanced cardiology rehab services, tobacco cessation programs and outreach, and ensuring health equity for underserved populations,” said Donna Lynne, Denver Health CEO.  “We know cardiovascular disease disproportionately impacts certain populations. Participating in programs like Million Hearts® helps us provide outstanding care to all individuals but also raises the overall health of our community.”

Kristin Ellis manages the health system’s employee wellness programs and added, “Denver Health is proud to prioritize a culture of health and well-being through all we do. The care we provide, the environment we create, and the programs and resources we offer support the well-being of our patients, visitors and staff in a way that will have a positive and lasting impact on our community.”

“On behalf of the Centers for Disease and Prevention, our Million Hearts® team, and the Million Hearts® Initiative, we are pleased to recognize Denver Health for their dedication to improving the cardiovascular health of their patients,” said Laurence Sperling, MD, Executive Director of Million Hearts®. “We commend Denver Health and Hospital Authority’s commitment to promoting health for patients and employees alike through their nutritious food offerings and employee wellness programs. Through their cardiac rehabilitation referral process and innovative at-home program, more patients are connected to and receiving this important, life-saving care.”

Million Hearts® is a national initiative co-led by CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), with the goal of preventing one million heart attacks and strokes within five years. This recognition program provides an opportunity to acknowledge and share the insights and contributions of hospitals and health systems nationwide in efforts to prevent heart attacks and strokes. To learn more about the Million Hearts® initiative and apply to this program, please visit


About Denver Health 

Denver Health is a comprehensive health and hospital system that provides quality care for the Denver Community. Medical teams deliver medical, dental and mental health care to Denver’s population, proudly serving as the city’s safety-net hospital for more than 160 years. Denver Health’s commitment to our community includes educating the next generation of health care professionals and furthering critical research to benefit our patients and community.