Tupelo heart saver wins national award

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A Tupelo volunteer has received a national award for her efforts to make the community a safer place for hearts.
Bev Crossen, who has helped make automated external defibrillators and the knowledge to use them more widespread, has won the national Spirit of Women Community Hero Award.
“It’s not just me winning; it’s the Weston Reed Cardiovascular Conference and Junior Auxiliary,” Crossen said. “I couldn’t have won without everyone pitching in.”
The community hero award celebrates previously unrecognized women for work they’ve done to make their communities a better place. Crossen was selected from a pool of regional nominees to win the North Mississippi Medical Center Spirit of Women Award.
“We are thrilled that our regional winner won the national award,” said Liz Dawson, director of NMMC’s Community Health Department and Spirit of Women coordinator. “This is a testament to the amazing community of women that we have here in Northeast Mississippi who are doing so many significant things in our area.”
Crossen helped start the Weston Reed Cardiovascular Conference nearly three years ago after 11-year-old Weston Reed, 11-year-old soccer player died of sudden cardiac arrest while playing soccer in August 2007.
The conference has provided 55 automated external defibrillators to parks and recreation facilities, schools and law enforcement officers to make the lifesaving devices more widely available. The third conference will be held Aug. 15.
“I’m so proud of how we came together as a community,” Crossen said. This past year, Crossen became certified as a Heartsaver CPR and AED instructor and through Junior Auxiliary of Tupelo organized volunteers to train 420 ninth-grade students at Tupelo High School in the lifesaving skill.
“You never want it to happen,” Crossen said of sudden cardiac arrest. “If it has to happen, you want the equipment and the knowledge there”
The Spirit of Women is a national coalition of hospitals and health care facilities in more than 60 U.S. cities in 31 states that promotes women’s health issues.
Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or michaela.morris@djournal.com.