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SGMC Health Foundation Launches “Jump Start a Heart” Initiative in Memory of Mary Carrell Morrison

Posted on: February 19th, 2024
Members of SGMC Health EMS, Nashville Police Department, and Berrien County Sheriff’s Department pictured with the AEDs provided by the SGMC Health Foundation

The SGMC Health Foundation is proud to announce the launch of its “Jump Start a Heart” program, an initiative designed to provide Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and essential training to rural communities and organizations. This lifesaving program was ignited by a heartfelt donation from the family of the late Mrs. Mary Carrell Morrison, a beloved matriarch who lived in the rural community of Nashville, GA, and tragically suffered a significant cardiac episode. 

Mary Carrell Morrison

In the wake of their loss, the Morrison family recognized a critical gap in emergency preparedness within rural communities: the absence of AEDs during crucial moments. The first to respond to Mrs. Morrison’s emergency was a sheriff’s deputy, who, at the time, did not have access to an AED. Determined to prevent similar situations, the Morrison family made a generous gift to SGMC Health, specifically earmarked for the purchase of AEDs for the Nashville Sheriff and Police departments. Their contribution acknowledges the reality that in many rural areas, law enforcement officers are often the first on the scene of a medical emergency before ambulance services can arrive. 

The Morrison family’s donation has laid the foundation for the “Jump Start a Heart” program. Through this initiative, the SGMC Health Foundation, in partnership with SGMC Health EMS, aims to extend the availability of AEDs and provide comprehensive training on their use to ensure that more lives can be saved in critical moments. The program targets rural communities and organizations that would otherwise lack access to such essential lifesaving equipment. 

“We are immensely grateful to the Morrison family for their generosity and for turning their personal tragedy into an opportunity to save lives,” said Hilary Gibbs, Vice President and Chief Development Officer for SGMC Health. “Their gift not only honors the memory of Mrs. Mary Carrell Morrison but also sets a precedent for community-based health initiatives. ‘Jump Start a Heart’ is more than a program; it’s a promise to the communities that we serve that we are here for them, ready to equip and educate their first responders and citizens alike.” 

“The ‘Jump Start a Heart’ initiative reflects SGMC Health’s commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of the communities it serves,” said Emily Brown, SGMC Health Director of EMS and Trauma. “By increasing access to AEDs and training, SGMC Health hopes to significantly reduce the number of fatalities and adverse outcomes associated with cardiac episodes in rural areas.” 

For more information about the “Jump Start a Heart” program or to make a donation, please visit or contact the SGMC Health Foundation at 229-433-1071 or