About Us


Our mission

The S.I. Heart Society is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization 
Our mission is to promote Healthy Hearts on Staten Island through educational activities, programs, events, enhancement of the public access defibrillation programs & to reduce the rate of death & disability from heart disease & stroke. 


Rachel volpe, rn
director of operations

Rachel Volpe worked for more than 25 years in Coronary Care Nursing as well as Primary Care Nursing in a local medical practice. She has certifications in Critical Care Nursing, Medical Surgical Nursing and Legal Nurse Consulting.

Rachel began volunteering with the Heart Society when it's previous Director, Donna Dixon asked her to help with making raffle baskets.  Starting with raffles led to volunteering at all Heart Society events as well. Donna and Rachel met through the Monsignor Farrell Marching Farrell Marching Band, where both had sons involved.

"CPR and AEDs simply save lives. By placing the skills of CPR training and the accessibility of AEDs throughout Staten Island, we help others help those in need. Where minutes count, the more people trained in CPR and more AEDs available to the community, the more lives we can save. In addition, by providing Heart Healthy talks in schools and for community groups, we provide Staten Islanders with the ability to take their health into their own hands and help reduce heart disease in our community.

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Salvatore Volpe, m.d.

Dr. Salvatore Volpe is the Chief Medical Officer at the Staten Island Performing Provider System and Former President of the Richmond County Medical Society.

After meeting parents of members of the Heart Society through the Monsignor Farrell Marching Band, Dr. Volpe learned about the Heart Society's mission and was committed to contributing to the cause.

"The Staten Island Heart Society serves an important role as a partner with local healthcare providers and local government to reduce cardiovascular disease and death."

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Andrew calcagno
board member

Andrew Calcagno is the Chief Operating Officer and Manager of Sal Calcagno & Family Realty, and the third generation member in Salvatore Calcagno Construction. Andrew has been active in On Your Mark, March of Dimes and the CYO Center at Mount Loretta.

Hearing that over 50% of Staten Islander’s are affected by heart disease and stroke, which represents one of the highest rates of heart disease in the entire county, Andrew wanted to get actively involved with the mission of the SI Heart Society and help improve lives.

"The Heart Society’s mission to promote Healthy Hearts on Staten Island to ensure that all money raised on Staten Island benefits Staten Islanders needs to be spread throughout the community.  What better way to do that than through fun activities, like golfing, and educating and bringing together friends and family at so many of the SI Heart Society’s wonderful events."


donna grado
board member

Donna Grado works as a Department of Education School Aide and Grado and Associates Finance Administrator.

As one of our founding members, Donna joined our board because of her cardiac history.

"Being a cardiac arrest survivor I know first hand the significance of CPR and AED’s.  We need to continue to further support and educate our community on the importance of saving those with heart disease."


jack d'angelo, m.d.

Dr. Jack D'Angelo serves as a medical consultant to the healthcare insurance industry and the Chief Medical officer of Citiva Medical, a New York State licensed medical cannabis company.

Doc Jack has worked with The Richmond County Medical Society, and during his role as President, got actively involved in the initiatives of the Staten Island Heart Society and continued his participation with the organization.

"Every time we offer someone the tools for a healthier life we give them opportunity to share a gift of well-being with someone else."

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salvatore calcagno esq
board member

Salvatore Calcagno is an Attorney  with Menicucci Villa Cilmi PLLC, as well as a trustee and executive board member of the Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere.

Because of our dedicated mission purposes and expanding opportunity to broaden the awareness and preventative measures to assist the larger New York community, it was a no-brainer to help, in whatever means Sal could.   

"Heart attacks don’t discriminate. SIHS, an organization that supplies and fills a sad gap that exists and often is taken for granted, is supplying the peace of mind so that people can enjoy these activities free from worry. Knowing that the risk is mitigated and SIHS’s ongoing commitment to spreading awareness of the need to remove this risk have no expiration date. SIHS’s passion to win this fight is something all supporters should always remember in the decades to come."

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james pistilli
board member

Jim Pistilli is a retired health care executive. He is the founder of Richmond Home Need Services Inc and a founding member Meals On Wheels and the S.I. Alzheimer Association. Jim is the CEO Advanced Lifestyles for Health and Fitness and serves on many health, academic, and community outreach boards.

Jim joined our board because he was impressed with mission of the Heart Society and commitment to serve the need of Staten Islanders.

"Knowledge is having the right answer and The SI Heart Society's mission gives us the answer to save lives in a cardiac emergency."


salvatore g. volpe
youth board president

Salvatore Volpe is a Neuroscience and Computer Science student at Columbia University where he is a Resident Advisor and on the board of the Columbia University Players.

As a member of the Monsignor Farrell Marching Band, Salvatore met the John and Michael Dixon who got him involved with the Youth Board.

"The Staten Island Heart Society serves as a beacon in the borough for activism, healthy lifestyles, and a sense of community identity. The Heart Society's mission is much like CPR: simple, but life-changing."

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anna williams

Anna Williams is the First Vice President/Compliance Officer for Victory State Bank and President and Board member of Staten Island Center for Independent Living. She is also a Board member of Staten Island Council for Animal Welfare, member of Soroptimist International of Staten Island (Past President), and a volunteer for Visiting Nurse Association of SI.

Anna is one of the founding members of the Staten Island Heart Society and believes strongly in its mission.

"The Heart Society helps to save lives!"

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alfredo conti, esq.
board member

Alfredo Conti is an attorney and founder of Conti Law Firm LLC. He also sits on the Executive Board of the Staten Island Children's Museum.

Al's family has a history of heart disease, which sparked his interest in being an active member of the Heart Society.

"The Heart Society's mission is very important and relevant given the current trend of obesity in America as with some basic CPR knowledge you can save someone’s life and an ounce of prevention can save your life!"


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jean r. ringhoff
board member

Jean is a community leader with active involvement in many Staten Island organizations.  She serves as a Board Member for Meals on Wheels of Staten Island, Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, A Very Special Place and the Staten Island Heart Society.

Jean is active on various committees including Visiting Nurse Association Luncheon, Staten Island Hearts Chefs’ Extravaganza, and the Meals on Wheels Carriage Ball, Spring Luncheon and Summer Soiree. She also serves on several golf committees including Alzheimer’s and Dementia of Staten Island, A Very Special Place, Staten Island Heart Society, Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Northfield Bank Foundation.

After playing at one of our Golf Heart Classics, Jean knew that she wanted to be more involved in our organization.

"Every second counts if someone goes into cardiac arrest. Knowing CPR, how to use an AED and having an AED available can save a persons life. Everyone should know what to do."


kerrin woll
admin. assistant

Kerrin Woll is a Speech-Language Pathology student at St. John's University involved with The Minty Organization.

Kerrin attended the Youth Board's Rock Out Against Smoking, and always appreciated learning about what the Heart Society does throughout the community.

"By spreading awareness and Promoting Healthy Hearts, the Heart Society is giving people the knowledge and tools to not only improve their own lifestyle, but to potentially save another life. Similar to 'paying it forward', by teaching one person CPR, they could save a life of another person, who then may save another."

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john elder

John Elder is retired from the Investment Industry where he worked as a Senior Branch Manager and Vice President of Charles Schwab & Co.

 As a heart patient, John began volunteering with the Staten Island Chapter of the American Heart Association more than 20 years ago, prior to becoming one of the Founding Board Members of the Staten Island Heart Society.

“I feel that everyone should know CPR and that there should be as many AEDs available as possible. I want that person and the AED available if I ever need it."

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julie destefano
board member

Julie DeStefano is a Branch Manager with Northfield Bank. She also volunteers with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers foundation, the SI Agency for Alzheimer's and Dementia, and serves on the St. George Theatre Gala Committee.

Both Julie's mother and brother survived heart attacks because they received prompt attention. Seeing that the Heart Society's work helps to save lives, she knew she wanted to volunteer and be a board member.

"I know first-hand that not everyone has to die after suffering from a heart attack. A heart attack can happen anywhere, anytime. It's at this time that moments matter. When regular people are given the training and the tools they can act immediately to administer CPR while waiting for emergency professionals to arrive. That small window of time can be the difference between life and death. The Heart Society promotes healthy Hearts by providing CPR training and public access defibrillation programs which have been instrumental in saving lives. For me this is personal. My family was lucky."

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willard j. wright, emt
board member

Willie Wright, now retired, served as an EMT on the FDNY's Volunteer Ambulance North Rescue Squad for over 40 years. He is now the CEO of SIEMT AHA training center and NYS BEHS EMT training center .

Willie got involved with our organization when we reached out to him for help with getting AEDs out to the general public and training them on use of the same.

"Considering the number of people who have been successfully saved with CPR and AED training provided by the Staten Island Heart Society, I am more than happy to be an advocate for its mission and to help in saving lives."