Volunteerism provides me with a deeper connection to my community. The American Heart Association holds a special connection for me. My father died at home of a heart attack at the age of 47. I was 14. While this influenced many areas of my life, it most certainly affected my choice of profession. My first role out of nursing school was on a pediatric unit which provided cardiac care. The AHA has promoted many advances in cardiac care that have delivered real and significant positive impacts to many families.
I have had the pleasure of being involved on a national level with The AHA Teaching Garden program. This program partners sponsors with schools to create gardens and provide curriculum on healthy eating for both students and their families. The opportunity to build the garden, plant and harvest with the students have been some of the most rewarding activities I have ever been involved in. To see children truly excited about fruits and vegetables is amazing!
I have been on the board of the Connecticut chapter for a few years and have taken on the role of chair this year. A benefit of volunteering is the opportunity to collaborate with the accomplished and talented members of the CT AHA Board and the staff of AHA. I am excited to advance the great work already underway including increasing the number of Connecticut towns that are designated Heart Safe and continuing to educate on the benefits of CPR in schools and workplaces.