Daniela Gerard, MD, PhD, is busy both giving care in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) in Gillette, Wyoming and taking care of her dogs, donkeys, horses and a ‘few’ bobcats. Having lived in Wyoming with her husband for the last 10 years, she knows about the geographical barriers to giving care. But when she was looking to make impacts in her community, she looked towards the American Heart Association.
“The American Heart Association gave us all the support and framework that could help our state,” said Dr. Gerard. “Some of our providers didn’t have the tools needed to reduce the times to get care for cardiac patients, and with the funds we received with the help of the American Heart Association, we were able to get these tools out there.”
Dr. Gerard and other American Heart Association volunteers for Mission: Lifeline were so successful in reducing barriers for heart attack victims that Dr. Gerard was asked to present a poster at the Mediterranean Emergency Medicine Congress in Rome, Italy last week.
“The collaboration between the hospitals, providers and all of the partners was really amazing,” said Dr. Gerard. “But there’s more work to do.”
As a board certified emergency medicine physician, Dr. Gerard understands that reducing time to get care, by even minutes or seconds, can have long-term impacts on victims of cardiac arrest.
“In those minutes, it’s all about life. For me, My Life is Why. Every living person has a beating heart,” said Dr. Gerard. “Volunteering at the American Heart Association, through Mission: Lifeline, was such a great way to make an impact.”