Mass Heartbeat , DifferenceMakers

A member of the Mass Heartbeat team presents to DifferenceMaker judges and demonstrates their screening technique

We’ve been on an eight-year journey since the three of us lost a dear friend due to sudden cardiac arrest.

Mass Heartbeat is an organization focused on screening children and young adults for heart conditions and anomalies. This is being done to ensure they seek treatment before any undiscovered issues occur. The team consists of Pat Cusanelli, Medical Device Sales Rep, Shane Lavoie, UML alumni, MBA, and Jack Nealon who is pursuing a law degree. The team’s inspiration came from the sudden death of a friend due to cardiac event that no one suspected. As a result, Mass Heartbeat was driven to make sure that those with conditions they are not aware of, have the chance to be screened, monitored and treated, as needed.

Mass Heartbeat goes about this with screenings that are run through school districts in Massachusetts. With any screening that takes place, they have certified nurses and technicians perform a screening for each student, then, the results are sent to a cardiologist through an established partnership. If the doctor sees any abnormalities, the patient’s guardians are contacted directly, and an appointment is made.

With this established process, Mass Heartbeat applied to the 2018 DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge and won the “Contribution to a Healthier Lifestyle” category award, along with $4,500 to further their mission. They also won $5,000 in legal counseling, sponsored by Foley and Lardner, LLP and Chris McKenna, Francis College of Engineering, class of 1989. Through DifferenceMaker, Mass Heartbeat has been connected to two mentors, Michelle Bazin, DifferenceMaker Faculty Fellow and Professor in the UMass Lowell College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Richard Juknavorian, Class of 1998, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences. 

Mass Heartbeat would like to expand their business to more communities throughout Massachusetts and the United States, as well as, gain opportunities to expand into higher education platforms. Mass Heartbeat wants to ensure that any young person who has a heart condition can seek the proper care and treatment they may need, before a tragic event occurs.

Mass Heartbeat website