top of page

2024 Board Members

  

IMG_9442_edited.jpg

President

Laura Wiruth

Back in grade school, Laura remembers that any time sirens could be heard, teachers would make the students stop what they were doing and bow their heads to pray for whomever it was that needed help. No matter whether they were taking a test or playing at recess, whatever they were doing, it was expected to stop to pray. Laura remembers thinking that was fine, but she wanted to do so much more than just stop and pray for those needing help; she knew then that she would dedicate her life to the service of others. Initially, Laura was planning to join the military to follow in the footsteps of her father. However, at the age of 15, she underwent open-heart surgery to repair a congenital heart defect, which disqualified her from all branches. Determined to still serve others, she turned to public service to help her community. Starting as a corrections officer in a state penitentiary for 7 years, volunteering as a fire fighter in her free time, then eventually working as a paramedic for the past 15 years. After working an amazing career with Johnson County Med-Act, she earned her Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration so that she can work in a position that allows her to help those that help others. She found the perfect position to do this with Overland Park Regional Medical Center as their EMS Liaison.

Laura is passionate about assuring that everyone knows how to perform CPR and use an AED. As a paramedic, she saw first-hand the difference high-quality CPR and AED use makes, how they help increase the chance for survival in sudden cardiac arrest. She is excited to continue to grow Johnson County HeartSafe's partnerships, work with the public to place more AEDs, and help teach hands-only CPR to as many people as possible.

Screenshot (682).png

Vice President

Melody Morales

Melody is the founding member of Johnson County HeartSafe Foundation and served as Vice President for the foundation from 2016-2021, Member at large from 2021-2023, and is now serving as the Vice President of the foundation. She is the current Program Director at the Office of the Medical Director for the Johnson County EMS System. She manages the Johnson County EMS System Quality Assurance/Continuous Quality Improvement Program. This includes overseeing the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES). She also works collaboratively with area hospitals as well as National and Regional EMS organizations in an effort to improve patient care. Melody has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Melody has worked at various hospitals throughout the KC area in various departments including; the Emergency Department, Interventional Radiology, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, and Quality Resources. 

 

Brad Robbins.jfif

Secretary

Brad Robbins

Brad, a Captain for the Leawood Police Department, has been a member of the Johnson County Heartsafe Foundation since its inception and has served as the board's secretary since 2020. He has been a CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor since 2000, helped facilitate the introduction of AEDs into Leawood's patrol cars in 2002 and has twice been recognized with the LPD's Lifesaving Award.

As a division commander, Capt. Robbins supervises one of the department's three divisions and is now the agency’s primary Public Information Officer. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas and has also completed the State of Kansas' Certified Public Manager program and the FBI's National Academy police executive program.

0.jpg

Treasurer

Ryan Reschke

Ryan Reschke is currently the Training Supervisor with the Johnson County Department of Emergency Services – Communications Division.  He has over 15 years of experience in 911 operations and training new 911 operators and dispatchers.  He has taken countless 911 calls in which the emergency is sudden cardiac arrest where rapid initiation of CPR and deployment of an AED is paramount. 

 

Working with the Johnson County HeartSafe Foundation in training citizens in CPR as well as making AEDs more accessible to bystanders can be a life saving action, even before the 911 call.

nancy holland.jfif

Member at large

Nancy Holland

In 2015, Nancy collapsed in a restaurant from sudden cardiac arrest. Her life was saved thanks to the quick action of a bystander who performed CPR until help arrived with an AED. She was told her event was a fluke that was unlikely to happen again. But, Nancy’s story doesn’t end there. Three years later while on vacation in Tahiti she suffered not one, but two heart attacks. Nancy was later diagnosed with Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection - SCAD.

 

Nancy has turned her life-changing diagnosis into a passion. Since 2015, Nancy has been a tireless advocate for hands-only CPR and has taught countless individuals this lifesaving skill. Nancy currently services on many boards and committees - all of which promote heart health in some fashion:

 

- Johnson County HeartSafe Foundation (2016 to present)

- Johnson County Emergency Medical Services Board (2018 to present)

- American Heart Association Ambassador (2016 to present)

- American Heart Association Go Red For Women Executive Leadership Team (2019)

- American Heart Association Kansas Advocacy Committee (2020 to present)

- WomenHeart Champion (2019 to present)

- WomenHeart Advocacy Corps (2020 to present)

 

Nancy also works as a WomenHeart Champion at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City where she meets with other women who have had recent heart-related events to share her story, offer information on heart health and let them know that there are better days ahead. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University and previously worked as a web developer and editor at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation before stopping work to raise her two sons.

Hall, Jay .webp

Member at large

Jay Hall

Jay Hall currently holds the position of Training Officer for the Overland Park Fire Department. He has been with the department for 11 years and is currently responsible for providing fire, EMS, and hazmat training to providers across the county. He also manages the CPR program at OPFD. Jay joined HeartSafe in 2020 to further support the mission of providing education and resources to the community on sudden cardiac arrest. He has been a key contributor to several large-scale community CPR events with HeartSafe and 13BEATS. He looks to continue his involvement in training as many people as possible in hands-only CPR.

 

In his spare time, Jay is also an Adjunct Professor of EMS at Johnson County Community College, teaching both EMR and EMT to new students of EMS. He has been involved in initial education for 10 years, teaching at various levels with JCCC. Jay received his associate's degree from Johnson County Community College in Emergency Medical Services. He received his Bachelor’s in Healthcare Management from Siena Heights University and his Master's from Park University in Public Administration.

Headshots-176.jpg

Member at large

Ashley Dwight

Ashley Dwight is the wife of Bryan Dwight and the mom to 5 children. She is a real estate agent with the Kauffman Group at Better Homes & Gardens. Her passion to become part of Johnson County HeartSafe came after her oldest son suffered sudden cardiac arrest during a baseball lesson in August 2022. Her son survived because of 2 coaches that performed bystander CPR until first responders arrived with an AED. Ashley & a family friend started 13BEATS to provide free bystander CPR & AED training to the Kansas City community. 13BEATS has partnered with Johnson County HeartSafe to ensure everyone is prepared to save a life and to ensure AEDs are everywhere. 

stacey Jones.jfif

Member at large

Stacy Jones

Stacy is the Clinical Practice Coordinator at the Johnson County Office of the EMS Medical Director.  By reviewing all of the cardiac arrest calls in Johnson County as part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Program, Stacy works with the Office of the Medical Director and educators from all of the Johnson County fire departments and ambulance service to ensure the highest quality EMS care for Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest.  Stacy joined HeartSafe in 2018.  He has been a Paramedic since 2000 and Registered Respiratory Therapist since 2015.  Stacy was also an Army Medic and has taught CPR, First Aid, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support for many years.

IMG_2893_edited.jpg

Member at large

Joe Stellwagon

Joe has been involved with HeartSafe since 2018 having joined this organization to help improve the public's understanding and response to sudden cardiac arrest.  Joe is a current licensed Kansas Paramedic and retired from Johnson County Med-Act ambulance in 2019 after 27 years. He currently works for Johnson County Community College as an EMS lab instructor and Kansas Instructor Coordinator.  He is a certified instructor for American Heart Association and American Health Safety Institute.  He is a member of the Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, and National Association of EMS Educators.  He has an associate degree in EMS from Johnson County Community College.   Joe's hobby is teaching families first aid topics to better prevent and respond to their own emergencies.  

bottom of page