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Vascular faculty and staff.

Top Row: Jeremy Van’t Hof, Mark Bakken, Alan Hirsch, Sue Duval, Sunny Roy, Bottom Row: Jessica Wright, Niki Oldenburg, Russell Luepker, Karen Miller 

Academic Faculty

Sue Duval, PhD

Sue Duval, PhD

Sue DuvalSue Duval obtained her BSc (Honors) in Statistical Science from the Flinders University of South Australia in 1993. Upon completion of her degree in Adelaide, South Australia, she traveled to the United States to pursue her PhD in Biostatistics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, obtaining her PhD in 1999, with a minor in Epidemiology. She was then recruited to join the faculty at the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Community Health in the School of Public Health. In 2011, Dr. Duval joined the Cardiovascular Division in the University of Minnesota Medical School as an Associate Professor, with an adjunct appointment in the Division of Biostatistics.

Dr. Duval provides biostatistical expertise to the Cardiovascular Division clinical research program, and is the lead methodologist in the Vascular Medicine Program. Dr. Duval’s current vascular disease research applies several methodologic approaches to improve our understanding of peripheral artery disease, critical limb ischemia, and ischemic amputation outcomes. These include the use of randomized clinical trials, clinical registries, electronic health records, administrative claims data and meta-analyses.

Dr. Duval has extensive training and experience in the conduct of meta-analysis, having developed the “trim and fill” method for publication bias, a method that is used extensively in meta-analysis, and which has been cited over 1700 times. She is the statistical consultant for Vascular Medicine. She is the current American Heart Association Peripheral Vascular Diseases Council steering committee liaison to the AHA Epidemiology and Prevention Council. She is a Fellow of the AHA. Twenty of her 109 publications are related to vascular disease epidemiology.

Dr. Duval believes that methodology is the core of excellence in clinical research. Using those skills, she is dedicated to the analysis and understanding of vascular disease, and firmly believes that we have the knowledge to live in a world without such prevalent, morbid, and mortal vascular diseases.

Russell V. Luepker, MD

Russell V. Luepker, MD

Russell LuepkerRussell Luepker is Mayo Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Rochester Medical School and interned at University of California at San Diego. After three years at Johns Hopkins in the USPHS, he did a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He also obtained a Master’s degree in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Beginning with the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention and Lipid Research Clinic Trials he has consistently worked in clinical research. He is currently the Director of the Certificate Program in clinical research. This is a structured program for those interested in a clinical research career. He also leads the effort of the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center in developing increased clinical research expertise and offerings. Dr. Luepker is a member of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panels and on the guidelines taskforces of the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. Dr. Luepker is a member and/or chair of numerous committees of the NIH, CDC, World Heart Federation and American Heart Association.

Vascular Medicine Physicians

Alan Berger, MD

Alan Berger, MD

Alan BergerDr. Berger's faculty profile

Merging knowledge and experience in cardiology and epidemiology, Dr. Berger cares for individual patients, and for the heart health of the general public as well. In March 2010, he became the quality and outcomes director for interventional cardiology.

Dr. Berger’s clinical and interventional practices focus on the management of patients with coronary-artery disease and peripheral-arterial disease (blockages in the legs, and sometimes the arms). He treats adult patients of all ages, with a special interest in geriatric cardiology. He is the Associate Director of the Lillehei Clinical Research Unit, the section of the Cardiovascular Division responsible for the conduct of clinical trials. He is also the Director of the Cardiovascular Informatics Section. Dr. Berger’s education includes an M.D. from the Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia), medical residency at the Boston University Medical Center (now the Boston Medical Center), general- and interventional-cardiology fellowships at Georgetown University, and a combined interventional/epidemiology fellowship at Yale University. Dr. Berger is a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher of public-health graduate students and physicians-in-training, and has been the recipient of a University of Minnesota Cardiology Faculty Teaching Award. He presents educational seminars to established cardiologists on national and even international levels.

Christopher Foley, MD

Christopher Foley, MD

Christopher FoleyDr. Christopher Foley specializes in vascular medicine and is board certified in internal medicine, clinical lipidology, and vascular medicine. He graduated from Hahnemann University, College of Medicine in Philadelphia; and completed his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Dr. Foley is extremely passionate about treating vascular disease. He firmly believes that the best way to minimize rates of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots is to aggressively target the interactions that cholesterol and the blood clotting system has with blood vessels.

Laxmana Godishala, MD

Laxmana Godishala, MD

Godishala LaxmanaDr. Laxmana Godishala is a vascular internist, clinical lipidologist, clinical hypertension specialist and is board certified in internal medicine, vascular medicine, clinical lipidology, clinical hypertension, and travel health. He is a Fellow of American College of Physicians ( FACP) , Fellow of National Lipid Association ( FNLA), Fellow of American Society of Hypertension ( FASH). He graduated from Kakatiya Medical College in Warangal, India and he completed his Internal Medicine residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis MN.

Dr. Godishala strives to offer patient-centered, cost-effective, and evidence-based medical care. He believes that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Abdi Jama, MD

Abdi Jama, MD

Jama AbdiDr. Abdi Jama is a board certified cardiovascular and internal medicine physician specializing in cardiology, interventional cardiology, vascular medicine and intervention. He graduated from the University of Kansas, School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Jama completed Cardiology and Interventional cardiology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. Additionally, he completed advanced Vascular Medicine and Intervention fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.

His specific interests lie in complex coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, venous disease, and prevention. Dr. Jama’s area of expertise is in performing minimally invasive procedures to treat the heart and blood vessels. His approach to patient care is that of partnership; he encourages his patients to be active participants of their care.

Clinical and Research Staff

Mark Bakken, BS, RN

Mark Bakken, BS, RN

Mark BakkenMark A. Bakken joined the Vascular Medicine Program clinical care team in 2013 with a background in clinical nursing, education and leadership in the medical device industry. His 25 years of nursing experience has long been anchored in a passion for clinical excellence with clinical nursing expertise in both emergency and cardiovascular medicine. He has also provided leadership in dissemination of clinical education in the medical device industry and in M Health.

As clinical program manager of the Vascular Medicine Program, Mark manages the creation, implementation, and outreach of the vascular medicine section. All health care delivery is challenging. Clinical success requires the creation of evidence-based care pathways that link best practices to informed patient preferences, in concert with effective primary care partnerships. As well, coordinated care requires effective nursing in order for inpatient consultations, outpatient referrals and clinical research care to remain “easy and effective” for patient and referring clinician, alike. Mark works closely with the University of Minnesota and M Health interdisciplinary faculty, nurses and rehabilitative staff to provide exceptional clinical care so that programmatic goals are integrated into an operational plan that is measurable and sustainable.

Mark strives to promote a multi-disciplinary approach to the prevention and treatment of all vascular diseases with the ultimate goal of improving patient health and quality of life.

Karen H. Miller, MSW, MPA

Karen H. Miller, MSW, MPA

Karen MillerKaren Miller joined the Section team in 2011 as Associate Director of the Minnesota Heart Health Program (MHHP). She received her Master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She has dedicated her career in healthcare to health initiatives that require community health interventions, healthcare grant preparation and administration of grant-based public health efforts. She has served as Program Officer for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation in Pittsburgh, where she created two multi-disciplinary graduate-level fellowship programs for health sciences students and managed Foundation grants. At the Health Foundation of South Florida in Miami, she served as Program Officer and Senior Grants Manager. As Associate Director of MHHP, she directs program operations and builds partnerships with health systems statewide to enlist their support in preventing cardiovascular disease in Minnesota through the use of low dose aspirin. Her mission is to improve public health through multi-disciplinary education, collaboration, and community engagement.

Niki C. Oldenburg, DrPH, MPH

Niki C. Oldenburg, DrPH, MPH

Niki OldenburgNiki C. Oldenburg joined the Section in 2006 in order to apply her background in public health to the expansion of the national vascular public health mission. Following her Peace Corps experience in Zaire, Africa, she received her MPH and DrPH degrees from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She then served as the Evaluation Lead for the HIV and STD prevention section at the Minnesota Department of Health for 5 years.

As a cardiovascular disease prevention and evaluation scientist in the Section, Dr. Oldenburg co-directs and manages the creation, implementation, and dissemination of a portfolio of cardiovascular primary and secondary prevention initiatives. Her experience includes leadership in stem cell, pharmacologic, and behavioral comparative effectiveness clinical trials among individuals with peripheral artery disease (PAD). She also helps to manage the Program’s population-based studies of PAD and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in large administrative data bases. Her work is instrumental to the dissemination of national PAD and CVD guidelines in large community-based initiatives (Project PAD and Minnesota Heart Health Program). Dr. Oldenburg works closely with section faculty to translate research and programmatic goals into an operational plan that is doable, measurable, sustainable and scalable.

Dr. Oldenburg strives to promote multi-disciplinary and novel approaches to the prevention of PAD and CVD, with the ultimate goal of improving our communities’ health and well-being.

Fellows

Jeremy Van’t Hof, MD

Jeremy Van’t Hof, MD

Jeremy Vant HofJeremy Van’t Hof is a Minnesota native who traveled to Michigan for undergraduate training (Calvin College) and California for medical school (Loma Linda University). Informing his lifelong interest in public health, he spent a key five month period during his training years in Honduras as a rural health clinic volunteer and performing rural medicine outreach. He returned to Minnesota in 2012 in order to complete his internal medicine residency at the University of Minnesota and was recruited to join the Cardiovascular Medicine fellowship in 2015. The 4 year fellowship is designed to include completion of a Master’s degree in Clinical Research. In this unique fellowship environment, didactic and programmatic flexibility is fostered to assure that both high level cardiovascular preventive clinical and clinical research skills are co-valued. This dedication to evidence creation and evidence-based practice is core to the training of best of class preventive cardiologists and preventive vascular medicine specialists.

Jeremy helps to lead several health system and community-based research projects that seek to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease. One of these, the Minnesota Heart Health Program, seeks to increase appropriate aspirin use to prevent a first heart attack or stroke.

Jeremy believes that poor cardiovascular health is often a result of poor public health literacy, linked to inefficiencies created by the current “sickness-based” health care delivery system. The failure of cardiovascular prevention is a key factor that leads individuals to a less happy, less productive, and shorter life. Jeremy is dedicated to all efforts that improve both individual cardiovascular health and population health through public health research and intervention.