Portland’s Q Center Updates Emergency Preparedness Plan and Installs AED
While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, Allison Neushwander, a registered nurse, quickly identified the popular community center as the perfect location for her community-based health project.
The Q Center’s mission is to provide safe spaces, community building, and empowerment for the positive transformation of LGBTQ2SIA+ communities and allies in the Pacific Northwest. As the largest LGBTQ community center in the Pacific Northwest, Q Center proudly serves the LGBTQ2SIA+ communities of Portland Metro and Southwest Washington.
After spending some time with the organization’s staff members, Allison decided that she could best help the Q Center by implementing an emergency readiness and evacuation plan. Allison decided to procure an AED and First Aid Kit for the center as part of the emergency plan. Unfortunately, the organization lacked the funding to purchase a unit.
Undeterred, Allison reached out to the American Heart Association, which suggested that she contact AED distributors directly.
“Thankfully, Cardio Partners was on that list!” said Allison.
The Q Center’s welcoming drop-in and event space is located in North Portland, and according to their website, it “is a frequent first stop for new arrivals in Portland, and for longtime residents who are newly out or questioning their sexual or gender identity. Q Center also serves as an information hub for friends, partners, community, and family members of LGBTQ2SIA+ individuals.”
“The AED is something we have always wanted to have for our community center. There are a lot of homeless community members who use the space, many community members who don’t get needed medical care, and there is also a health clinic attached to the Q Center. It is a gathering space for vulnerable people. The cost of an AED was keeping us from being able to have one in our space. This donation helps us make our community safer and helps us further our mission,” said Susan Kocen, Senior Community Program Manager.
“From my perspective as a student, this was a really meaningful project because I got to do something for my community in Portland, and for the gay and lesbian community. It was a very satisfying and personal project, because I’m a part of both communities,” noted Allison.
Allison decided that the best location for the new AED is in the center’s heavily-trafficked reception area, next to the fire extinguisher and near the library, art gallery, and auditorium. The AED is stored in a well-marked wall cabinet and each of the five full-time staff members will be trained to properly use the AED.
“Without an AED, restoring a heart rhythm is really difficult. That piece of technology is such a critical part of emergency response. They’re user-friendly and easy for the community to utilize. It’s nice to have it in a space that I’m personally connected to,” said Allison.
Cardio Partners makes every attempt to honor donation requests; however, we receive far more requests that we can reasonably accommodate. For more information about securing funding for your AED program, download our Grant Guide. To learn more about our AED donation program, please contact us, we’d love to hear from you. Call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.