Advocates For Health began after Rich Feneis received an AED from the proceeds of a Mended Hearts Golf Tournament.

He lived on Pine Point Road in Sartell, MN which consisted of 50 homes and wanted this AED to be in a public place that would be accessible to all of the neighbors. However, Pine Point Road did not have a community building where the AED could be housed.

Rich Feneis began to research options for installing this AED in an outdoor cabinet.

  • Could it withstand the cold and heat?
  • What about vandalism?
  • How can the functionality of the AED be monitored?

In 2018, Rich Feneis, Jeff Skumautz and Dan Schirmers, as representatives of their neighborhood groups, requested from the CentraCare Health Foundation to consider a Pilot Program to install three outdoor AED smart cabinets and stands in the St. Cloud area. (photo of Pine Point Road unit attached) This pilot program was part of the on-going efforts of the local Mended Hearts Foundation chapter and their representative Joel Vogel 320-260-5433 and CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center and their representative Sharon Mentzer 320-492-2535 to install more of the life saving AED units in the St. Cloud area.  This would be the first outdoor installations in Minnesota that would make an AED available to the general public 24/7 365 days per year.  All AED’s to date were inside businesses or public buildings locked up after hours. We applied for a matching grant from the CentraCare Health Foundation.  The grant was in two parts – CentraCare would provide an AED unit and CPR/AED training for the neighborhood group.  We had to raise monies necessary to purchase the monitored outdoor AED smart cabinets and stands plus installation, electrical, necessary directional signage and an ongoing maintenance fund.  The neighborhood end was approximately $5,500.  The neighborhood funds where raised in a short time frame with participation rate of 70% of the neighbors affected.  In December of 2018 we met with CentraCare Health Foundation to report on the success of the Pilot Program and suggested that would be feasible to expand the program.  After review, the Foundation decided to fund 25 more AED units for the first half of 2019 using the same grant pilot program formula to encourage more outdoor AED installations for the St. Cloud area.

After the pilot program took off, Rich
realized that the original red stands purchased with the cabinets did not meet local
accessibility guidelines for what height the cabinet needed to be at to ensure anyone
could open it, and recognized a need for greater visibility – Rich decided to replace these
cabinets with newly constructed stands which offered a more durable stainless steel
design, compliance with ADA regulations, and enhanced visibility & readability.
Understanding the importance of supporting local business, Rich was able to work with
a local Minnesota manufacturer to have these stands constructed

The Original Three