For Immediate Release: January 12, 2018


Ocean City Council recognizes City
and ARMC first responders
Pennsylvania man grateful for
response to his heart attack


AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC) paramedics Sandy Monaghan, MICP, and Lauren LaSassa, MICP, joined Ocean City Fire Rescue and Police Thursday in reuniting with a Pennsylvania man who had a heart attack in the City in November of 2017. Ocean City City Council recognized the first responders during a Council meeting January 11. Jim Sweitzer, of Shillington, Pennsylvania, attended the event.

Sweitzer had been in town with his fiancé, Nancy Xavios, helping her renovate a house she owns in the city. As they were getting ready to visit one of Nancy’s relatives, Sweitzer collapsed. Xavios yelled to a neighbor to have her dial 911. Ocean City Police and Fire responded, as did ARMC Emergency Medical Services.


Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian thanks OC and AtlantiCare first responders as Nancy Xavios and Jim Sweitzer listen 1 11 18

Ray Gillian, Ocean City mayor, thanks Ocean City FIre and Police, and AtlantiCare EMS
as Nancy Xavios (in plaid jacket) and Jim Sweitzer, far right, listen.


“I’m living proof that everyone exceeded expectations in doing his or her job,” said Sweitzer, 57. “I had no symptoms. I walk my dog five miles a day. By the grace of God I am here today. Had I been alone when this happened, I might not be here today.


Team shot OC City Council Proclamation 1 11 18.jpg low res

Left to right are Jason Boyle, Ocean City firefighter; William Martin, Ocean City Fire captain,
George Karpinski, Ocean City firefighter; Matthew Slaughter Ocean City firefighter;
Sandy Monaghan, MICP and Lauren LaSassa, MICP, AtlantiCare paramedics; and
Brendan Gheen, Ocean City Police officer. Not present in photo but also among those
Ocean City recognized, was  Ryan Lenegan, Ocean City firefighter.


ARMC EMS transported Sweitzer to ARMC Mainland Campus in Pomona. Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Catheterization and Rhythm Center, and Cardiac Surgery Department teams were among those who cared for Sweitzer.


Sandy Monaghan MICP Jim Sweitzer Nancy Xavios Lauren LaSassa MICP low res

 Left to right are Sandy Monaghan, MICP, ARMC EMS paramedic; Jim Sweitzer;
Nancy Xavios; and Lauren LaSassa, MICP, ARMC EMS paramedic.


“Ocean City Fire and Police played a key role in the team effort that helped to save Mr. Sweitzer,” said Howard Axelrod, M.D., who performed Sweitzer’s quadruple heart bypass surgery ARMC.

“This response is an example of the collaboration of our first responders every time there is a medical emergency in Ocean City,” said Jim Smith, Ocean City Fire chief. “Together we are committed to caring for those who live in, work in, and visit Ocean City.”

“Mr. Sweitzer’s story illustrates that heart attack can affect anyone,” said Axelrod, “Dialing 911 immediately is critical to activating paramedic response. Sandy and Lauren were able to communicate directly with Emergency physicians throughout Mr. Sweitzer’s pre-hospital care.”

“I am grateful for all the care I received in Ocean City, on my way to the hospital, and at ARMC,” said Sweitzer. “This truly is a miracle. I am happy to be the recipient of everyone’s efforts.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org


AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,800 employees and more than 900 physicians serve the community in nearly 90 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.


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