Local group reaching out to save hearts

A lot of heart. HeartReach Michiana knows how to get to the heart of the matter. For several years this local group raised money for a national group for heart disease prevention education and to purchase portable automatic external defibrillator (AED). But the AEDs didn’t necessarily stay in the area.

Then they thought, we can do this for Michiana. Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Walter Halloran formed HeartReach Michiana in 2004. Ever since a dedicated group of people has raised money through a golf tournament. The results have been AEDs in lots of places.

HeartReach recently gave out 62 AEDs to agencies such as local police departments and schools. Almost 300 have been given out to date since 2004.

Teri Verba, manager of HeartReach, said each unit is $3,000. “Many people believe all first responders have these.” And that is not necessarily the case.

Teri said it is a great group of people in the general community and the medical community who are involved in HeartReach.

If you’d like more information about HeartReach, Teri suggested going to the website at www.heartreach And if you know of an agency that would like to be put on a list call her at 574-296-6500 or email to


Kathy Seidl is a long time community volunteer and president of the Christ Child Society. For all her work, she will be honored with the Mary Lou Schwartz Award at the Junior League of South Bend Inc.’s Holiday Ball on Dec. 8 at Century Center.

Involved with nonprofit agencies for more than 20 years, Kathy has been a driving force at St. Matthew School, Marian High and the American Heart Association. Recently she was the chairwoman for the Legacy of Faith Auction and Fat Tuesday events for St. Vincent DePaul Society.

At Christ Child, she oversees hundreds of volunteers, the winter clothing drive, tutoring and a Christmas gift program.

Laura Schaefer Hyde, president of the Junior League, said Kathy has had a lasting impact on the community.

The award is given to a community woman who exemplifies the successful volunteering and fundraising spirit of Mary Lou Schwartz. Mary Lou was a member of the Junior League for 27 years.

For ticket information visit or call 574-283-0636.


Elizabeth McLaughlin, associate professor of communication at Bethel College, recently collaborated on a book called “Interfaith Dialogue in Practice: Christian, Muslim, Jew.” The book was recently released by Rockhurst University Press. Contributors include various communication professors across the country.

The book may be purchased at, or from

Written from a communication perspective, the book provides useful strategies that aid in the understanding of Christianity, Islam and Judaism by focusing on both communication and theology.

McLaughlin has contributed to other recently upcoming published works involving interfaith dialogue. These include a chapter in Interfaith Dialogue: Listening to Communication Theory titled “Interfaith Encounters as Lived Parable,” and an article in the Journal of Communication & Religion titled “Half the Sky and the Image of God: Stories to Transform and Save Women’s Lives.”

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