CHICAGO — February is American Heart Month and a local woman’s personal experience inspired a new initiative at Roseland Community Hospital.

The Roseland Reserve will officially open near the main entrance in the Roseland Community Hospital on Valentine’s Day and anyone can stop by the closet 24 hours a day to grab whatever they need, for free.

“Roseland is a community that does lack resources, period poverty, menstrual cycle items. We take for granted soap or toilet tissue,” said Chrislin Flannagan, executive director of the hospital foundation.

Flannagan got the idea after seeing a similar pantry during her many visits to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

“I immediately thought that I wanted to bring something like this to the Roseland community.”

Flanagan was also a patient at the hospital when she suffered from a cardio regurgitation.

 “I’m back at work. I’m about 85%,” Flannagan said. “I still have cardio rehab and follow with my care team very closely.”

Flannagan shared that her experience made her realize she wasn’t alone after seeing NFL star Damar Hamlin recover from the cardiac arrest he suffered during a football game.

The power of faith and support from family and colleagues helped her through recovery and she hopes the Roseland reserve will help others in need.

“We need to do more to raise awareness about cardiovascular health especially in underserved communities.”

They estimate it will cost about 2,000 a month to keep the pantry going. For more information visit their website: Home | Roseland Community Hospital Foundation (