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Mission of the Healthy Heart Foundation

The mission of the Healthy Heart Foundation is to provide emergency medical devices, in particular Automated External Defibrillators, and place them in the community to protect the public, especially children.  We look to provide the necessary educational support needed, including the promotion of CPR training.  Our non-profit organization also aims to advocate for needed legislation related to heart health, while organizing events intended to promote the public awareness of AEDs, CPR, and an overall lifestyle that emphasizes healthy hearts.

 

About the Founders

Michaela Gagne HetzlerMichaela Gagne Hetzler was a three-season athlete in high school with dreams of playing Division I college soccer when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition.  Long QT Syndrome is responsible for claiming the lives of thousands of seemingly healthy young people every year, yet most are unaware of its existence.  Having undergone surgery for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) at 17-years-old, she decided to turn her obstacles into opportunities, and Michaela took on a new form of competition. 

Crowned Miss Massachusetts in June of 2006, Michaela went on to compete for the title of Miss America 2007. She is currently a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign, and she is a requested speaker across the United States and Canada.  In addition, Michaela is a CPR-AED trainer and has assisted in training hundreds of people to save lives.  Michaela has spoken nationally for the SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes) Foundation, as well as Parent Heart Watch, a group of parents making great strides in legislative and national awareness in memory of the children they have lost to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Michaela also served as an international spokesperson for Heartbeat International, an organization that provides pacemakers, defibrillators, and other devices to developing countries.

Currently, Michaela is the mother of three children and a School Adjustment Counselor in the Fall River Public Schools.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling and serves as an advisor for Peaceful Coalition, a group focusing on violence and gang prevention.  Her volunteer work ranges from traveling to Africa to set up a medical clinic to serving as a youth soccer coach, and Michaela is also an experienced artist and singer.

 

Joshua HetzlerJoshua Hetzler is the proud father of three children and a lifelong resident of Fall River, Massachusetts.  He currently serves as a Fall River Firefighter and holds a degree in Fire Science.  Joshua previously served in the military, and he currently runs his own contracting business, Joshua Hetzler, General Contractor. 

Josh is a very active volunteer in the Fall River Public Schools, serving on his children's PTO’s and School Improvement Councils, while also being selected for the Fall River Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council.  He runs numerous fundraisers and events in the schools and has been awarded the American Dream Challenge Parent Recognition Award several times.

 

Together Michaela and Josh have spoken and lobbied at the State House and on Capitol Hill several times regarding various heart health legislation.  They founded the annual Fall River Children’s Healthy Heart Festival that boasts donating AEDs to local organizations.  They are also responsible for making sure every public school in Fall River has an AED through their fundraising and advocacy efforts.  In addition, Michaela and Josh have placed several AEDs at St. Vincent’s Home, the Fall River Boys and Girls Club, and Fall River Youth Soccer. 

 

Medical Advisor
Jay S. Schachne, MD


Board of Directors
Denise Gagne
Ronald Gagne
Michaela Gagne Hetzler
Joshua Hetzler

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