Minneapolis business leader Manny Villafana has been named the 2016 Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for his many significant contributions to the
In 2014, Villafana received a University of Iowa Honorary Doctor of Science degree in recognition of his contributions to biomedical device development, biomedical engineering, civic leadership, and student success.
Villafaña, proclaimed a "Living Legend of Medicine," founded seven public companies, including Cardiac Pacemakers Inc., St. Jude Medical, and ATS Medical. He also co-invented the first lithium-powered pacemaker, co-developed the first St. Jude heart valve, and owns a number of pacemaker, heart-valve, and stent patents. Along with his contributions to medtech, Villafaña is known for his philanthropic efforts, especially his generous gifts to the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, which he spent time at growing up.
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