HeartSmart Foundation donates a life-saving AED to The Light House

(L-R) Light House Associate Director of Development, Anne Ryan, Light House Executive Director, Jo Ann Mattson, President and CEO, Leadership Anne Arundel, Kris Valerio Shock, Chairman of HeartSmart, Kenneth Brannan, Sam’s Club General Manager, Swavek Dziuba, Rotary Club of Annapolis President-Elect, Frank Andracchi, Light House Deputy Director, Heather Cassity, Rotary Club of Annapolis President, Dr. Carletta Allen, and Light House Director of Development, Jenny Crawford.

HeartSmart, The Cliff R. Roop Cardiac Support and Education Foundation, recently donated a new Medtronic LifePak 500 AED to The Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center in Annapolis. Kenneth Brannan, Chairman of HeartSmart, visited The Light House to meet with Light House staff and give a presentation about the importance of AED placement.

“We are so grateful to HeartSmart for this donation,” stated Light House Executive Director, Jo Ann Mattson. “The Light House building at 10 Hudson Street houses our emergency residential program where 45 individuals, 5 families and up to 20 children call home. In this same building, we also serve an average of 100 non-residential community members each day through hot meals, case management, housing and diversion services, clothing, showers, and laundry. Add our many staff members and volunteers to these numbers and we are averaging well over 300 people walking through our doors each day. It is important to us that we do all we can to keep everyone at Light House safe. Both our Light House mission and the HeartSmart mission are centered around the belief that every life is precious, and we are thankful for their support and for the great work they do in Anne Arundel County.”

The new AED unit has been placed in one of the main ground floor hallways of The Light House facility, with the intention of easy access in case of an emergency. AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) are important to have in buildings such as The Light House, because they allow minimally trained laypersons to treat victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). About the size of a laptop computer, with adhesive electrode pads, the device delivers a brief but powerful stimulation to the heart allowing it to start beating again. Every day in Anne Arundel County, a person’s heart suddenly stops beating as a result of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. An AED placed in businesses, community centers or gathering places can increase the chance of survival to 75%.

About HeartSmart, The Cliff R. Roop Cardiac Support and Education Foundation: HeartSmart is a non-profit organization committed to increasing the chances of surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in Anne Arundel County. Through fundraising and awareness education, the Foundation supports the placement of Automated External Defibrillators and corresponding training opportunities. The Foundation was created in 2000, as a project of Leadership Anne Arundel County, honoring the late County Councilman Cliff R. Roop who lost his life from SCA. Their mission is to make Anne Arundel County a “Heart Safe Community” by increasing the chance for its citizens to survive a Sudden Cardiac Arrest with an AED.