St. Gabriel’s Hospital is among 12 rural Minnesota and North Dakota Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI)-affiliated hospitals that collaborated on a grant project placing 220 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in rural community locations in the two states.
The initiative, funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) for $595,920, will increase access to the emergency devices in Morrison County. An AED is a portable device used on individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, helping to restore their normal heart rhythm and increasing their survival rate.
The project’s reach is extensive, impacting 30 counties, 18,200 square miles, 181,000 residents, and 128 local partners in the two states. The grant was coordinated by the Fargo Division of CHI, which includes both St. Gabriel’s Hospital and Albany Area Hospital and Medical Center.
“We’re pleased to have more AEDs available for use in our communities,” said Jeff Drop, CHI senior vice president and division executive officer. “These devices will help save lives.”
Kathy Lange, director of St. Gabriel’s Healthcare Foundation, agrees, saying the project’s four objectives will have a noticeable impact on Morrison County and the surrounding area.
“Morrison County residents will have increased access to AEDs thanks to the addition of seven devices in strategic locations throughout the county,” says Lange. “That increased access should result in a higher utilization of AEDs in the event of heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest prior to EMS arrival, ultimately increasing the survival rate of individuals experiencing heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest. It should also result in increased awareness of AEDs as a complementary intervention for heart distress problems, after first calling 911.”
The Morrison County locations for the new AEDs include Lutheran Care Center, St. Otto’s Care Center, Buckman Apartments, Bridgeway Estates, Little Falls Senior Center, Morrison County Fairgrounds and the Swanville Senior Center.
St. Gabriel’s Healthcare Foundation is scheduled to receive its funding for the seven AEDs in year one of the three-year initiative.
For more information about the AED grant, contact Lange at (320) 631-5624 or kathleenlange@catholi chealth.net.