Viterbo University Strides Magazine Online

Gift is a Lifesaver

Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center’s gift of a new, automatic external defibrillator to Viterbo University may someday save the life of a guest, student, or staff member in the University’s Fine Arts Center.

Viterbo President William J. Medland accepted the defibrillator from cardiologist Julio J. Bird, MD; cardiology nurse clinician Jo Lenarz, RN; and David Houge, clinical engineering, in March. 

“I want to thank you for the donation. If it saves just one life, it’s worth having on hand. Hopefully, we’ll never have to use it,” said Medland in March at a brief ceremony to announce the gift.

Emergency personnel use automatic external defibrillators to deliver an electrical shock through the chest wall to the heart in persons who have suffered sudden cardiac arrest. The electrical shock stuns the heart’s electrical activity momentarily, allowing it a chance to resume effective beating. Several members of the Viterbo community are being trained in its use.