Pediatric Cardiology Associates was established in Baton Rouge in 1995 and since that time have referred hundreds of patients to surgical and interventional centers across the United States for the best cardiac care available. While this allowed Baton Rouge and south central Louisiana access to state of the art medical care, families often had to endure significant financial hardship. Especially concerning were non-covered medical costs, non-medical expenses such as travel and lodging, and high out-of-pocket costs due to varying plans for covered items. This issue came to the forefront in 1996 when Thibodaux Mayor Warren Harang’s granddaughter was born with multiple holes in her heart. She required life-saving surgery that was deemed too risky at many centers. The family chose to fly her to San Francisco to a top specialist for surgery. Throughout this journey, Mayor Harang witnessed the huge expense that the family encountered, from the medical flight, to hotels, to living expenses, all while being away from work. He wanted to help.
Upon his grandchild’s return home, Mayor Harang met with Dr. Crapanzano of Pediatric Cardiology Associates to discuss his personal desire to help any family who ever needed financial help in getting their “heart child” the best care possible. Dr. Crapanzano wholeheartedly agreed and also realized a need for family support, especially if the pediatric cardiologists were to continue to be able to send patients to the preferred locations for care. This vision became a reality in 1997 when they formed the Harang Pediatric Cardiology Foundation, through which Mayor Harang made personal contributions to help families from south central Louisiana. By relieving unnecessary financial burdens, families were now able to travel across the country to top-rated centers of excellence.
Through this private foundation, awareness for the burdens of pediatric cardiac patients increased and the idea of support gained more and more momentum. In 2001, the assets of the Harang Foundation were transferred to the Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation, and our public foundation was formed.
Since its formation, hundreds of grants have been distributed to families in need. To support its mission, LPCF board members and volunteers hold annual fundraisers. In 2012, LPCF began its “Save-A-Heart. Save-A-Life.” program, providing free heart screens for high school athletes to identify undetected abnormalities. Up to 1,000 students are screened annually, with approximately 5% receiving follow-up evaluations. Four athletes have required life-saving heart surgery but are thankfully doing well today.
Director of Operations
Angelle is a Louisiana native, born and raised in Morgan City. She is married to André Bourgeois. They have two children, Jean-Luc and Jean-Paul, and have resided in Baton Rouge since 1993. She began her academic studies at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and completed them at the Professional Institute of Court Reporting. After passing the Louisiana Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters, she worked as a Licensed Certified Court Reporter in the Baton Rouge area for a number of years. In 2003, her second son, Jean-Paul, was born with a complex congenital heart defect, which literally changed her direction in life forever. After Jean-Paul’s multiple open heart surgeries, countless heart catheterizations, blood-draws/testing, numerous other heart-related procedures, as well as steadfastly marching through some set-backs along the way, Angelle passionately began her second career by advocating for him and for other families who had infants and young children with congenital heart defects and heart disease. She started volunteering with LPCF in 2007 and joined the LPCF Board of Directors in 2009. Angelle chaired the highly successful LPCF Mixed Doubles Tennis Classic and Gala for ten years, which raised over $1M for LPCF and the many families LPCF supports, as well as all of the free heart screens LPCF provides to high school athletes across south Louisiana. Angelle transitioned from the Board of Directors to the Director of Operations for LPCF on April 1, 2018.
Angelle is both humbled and thrilled to now have a more hands-on role with LPCF, which gives her the ability to reach out with invaluable first-hand experience and to personally help, support, and comfort as many parents and families as is possible in our area who are dealing with the many diverse challenges of having children with congenital heart defects and related heart problems. Her main roles include the day-to-day operations of LPCF’s office, as well as the management of the LPCF Family Grants Program, procurement of private, state and federal grant monies for LPCF, engage in the Louisiana Heart Mom’s Facebook Support Group, and general fundraising oversight.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rebecca Savoie Hood, RDCS
Heart Screens Coordinator & Cardiac Sonographer
Rebecca was born with eight ventricular septal defects (VSDs) and underwent two open-heart surgeries at a very early age. A VSD is a hole in the heart that separates the heart’s lower chambers and allows blood to pass from the left to the right ventricle. The first surgery was performed in San Francisco when she was only eight weeks old. The second surgery was performed in Boston at 10 years old. Her grandfather, the late Thibodaux Mayor Warren Harang, saw first-hand the huge expenses that her family encountered, from the medical flights to hotels to living expenses to uncovered medical costs, and wanted to help. Mayor Harang formed the Harang Pediatric Cardiology Foundation in 1997, along with Rebecca’s cardiologist, Dr. Michael Crapanzano. A man of his word, Mayor Harang made personal contributions to help other families from south Louisiana when their infants and children were undergoing cardiac surgeries. In 2001, the Harang Foundation’s assets were transferred to the newly formed Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation (LPCF).
Rebecca has always wanted to give back to LPCF and began providing electrocardiograms (EKGs) for on-campus heart screens while attending Louisiana State University. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree (with a concentration in Kinesiology) in May of 2018, she furthered her studies by enrolling at Southern Medical Corporation School of Ultrasound and graduated in June of 2019. She obtained her credentials as a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer in December of 2019.
Rebecca is now LPCF’s Heart Screens Coordinator. Her primary duties include public relations and community outreach, identifying and working with partnering schools, communicating with coaches and/or athletic directors, and coordinating screenings at each designated site.
Contact Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on our “Save A Heart. Save A Life” heart screen program.