Foundation Donates AEDs to Lee County Schools

TUPELO, Miss.—Lee County School District now offers the security of having automated external defibrillators (AEDs)—a device used to shock the heart back into normal rhythm–available at all its schools.

A $7,500 donation from the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi, made on behalf of North Mississippi Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Institute and Orthopaedic Institute of North Mississippi, is providing seven new automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Three units are going to Shannon High School, two units to Mooreville High School, one unit to Plantersville Middle School and one unit to Guntown Middle School. AEDs are already in place at the Saltillo schools.

“Coke Magee, Lee County Schools superintendent, reached out and shared the need for AEDs at several schools in their district,” said Steven Blaylock, HCF executive director of philanthropy. “This led to discussions with leadership at NMMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute and Orthopaedic Institute.”

“We appreciate this generous gift to Lee County Schools from the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi,” Magee said. “Having AEDs available on more of our campuses means more coverage for our athletes or anyone who may have a medical emergency.”

“We saw this as an opportunity to further serve these schools by providing the tools needed for an unexpected cardiac event,” said T.J. Adams, NMMC vice president of heart and surgical services.

“The Orthopaedic Institute works diligently to support our local school athletic programs at no cost.  We believe in giving back to our communities,” said orthopaedic surgeon Bryan Fagan, M.D. “The ability to support not only the students at these county schools, but also any community members who may be on the school campus, is a privilege.”

High schools in Saltillo, Shannon and Mooreville have athletic trainer coverage provided by NMMC. “The Lee County School District has a longstanding relationship with NMMC’s Sports Medicine Program, which provides invaluable services to our athletes and sports programs across the district,” Magee said.

The NMMC Heart and Vascular Institute is one of the most experienced programs in the region with a team including not only cardiologists, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons, but also cardiac nurses, technicians, therapists and others.

Orthopaedic Institute’s staff includes seven board-certified orthopedic surgeons, Barry Clark, D.0.; Bryan Fagan, M.D.; Eric Lewis, M.D.; William Pillow, M.D.; Gabriel Rulewicz, M.D.; Stephen Southworth, M.D.; and Nels Thorderson, M.D.

For more information on giving opportunities to the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi, call (662) 377-3613 or visit


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