The University of Louisville is taking over full ownership of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (CII), officials announced Monday.

U of L and the Louisville-based Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence have previously shared ownership of CII , but officials announced Monday that JHFE is transitioning to becoming purely a grant-making organization and will gift U of L full rights to own CII, valued at more than $16 million.

U of L President Neeli Bendapudi said CII’s daily daily operations and its mission would remain the same.

“This trust that JHFE has placed in us will be in very, very good hands,” Bendapudi said. “We have a great legacy of the past, and now our duty is to make sure we continue the good work well into the future.”

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi at press conference for changed ownership of University of Louisville press event announcing ownership change of Cardiovascular Innovation InstituteKyeland Jackson |

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi at a press conference Monday.

The institute opened in 2006 through a partnership between the university and Jewish Hospital. Since then, researchers have secured nearly $39 million in external grants and contracts which have been used to research cardiovascular disease and explore new cardiovascular health technology.

U of L School of Medicine Dean Toni Ganzel said cardiovascular-related diseases affect many people.

“The CII’s mission from its inception was to promote discovery and innovation and education that positively impacts the cardiovascular health of our patients in our community,” Hanzel said. “In Kentucky alone, more than 75 percent of deaths are as a result of cardiovascular disease. And everyone knows someone that’s been affected by cardiovascular disease. That’s what makes the work here at the CII so crucial.”

The ownership change takes effect immediately.

Monday’s announcement is another step in U of L’s purchase of KentuckyOne, the parent company of Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare. The sale is expected to close November 1.