News

Citizen CPR Foundation Announces 40 Under 40 Class of 2023

The 40 Under 40 Initiative Recognizes Significant Contributions to
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness, Outcomes

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Citizen CPR Foundation is proud to unveil the 40 Under 40 Class of 2023 honorees ahead of the Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit, which takes place at the award-winning Town and Country Resort, Nov. 29–Dec. 2.

CCPRF launched the 40 Under 40 recognition program in 2018 to recognize and support talented, motivated individuals who are leading the future of sudden cardiac arrest awareness and outcomes. These young trailblazers are especially appreciated leading into this year’s CASSummit, which features a programming theme focused on challenging the status quo in sudden cardiac arrest that has kept survival rates stagnant for too long.

This year’s 40 winners were selected from an inspiring group of nearly 100 submissions. Each honoree has demonstrated exceptional dedication to advancing lifesaving techniques, as well as an unwavering commitment to improving the health and well-being of our communities.

The 40 Under 40 Class of 2023 includes Cristian Abelairas-Gomez, PhD; Tiffany Abramson, MD; Heather Baker, EdD; Rory Beyer; Joshua Bosley; Karlea Brown Orrison, ENP; Syed Bukhari, MD; Ryan Coute, DO; Carl Dixon; Joshua Edwards; Abraham Frandrich; Samantha Fernandez, MD; Lindsey Flanagan; Asheleigh Forsburg; Stephen Gerber; Adam Gesicki, MA, RN; Joshua Glick, MD; Julia Goebel, EMT; Damar Hamlin; Matthieu Heidet; Daniel Joseph, MD; Richard Keller III; Adam Lang; Joshua Lupton, MD; Bianca Mammarella; Oscar Mitchell; Ziad Nehme, PhD; Camilla Sofia Perego; Alex Presciutti, PhD; Gabrielle Purick Smith; Stella Rausch-Scott; Jordan Reeder; Courtney Schwerin; Kenneth See; Alexis Simchak; Lindsay Sivik; Tiffany Sweeney; Allison Thompson; Emma Wender; and Anthony Wiencek.

“This year’s 40 Under 40 class represents an exceptional group of individuals who undoubtedly will make a difference in resuscitation and resuscitation education — and already are,” says Stuart Berger, MD, CCPRF President. “We are so proud of each person in this class and CCPRF looks forward to partnering with this group of leaders, advocates and change-makers. They each serve as a prime example of how we can individually and collectively challenge — and change — the status quo in sudden cardiac arrest.”

CCPRF’s 40 Under 40 recognition program engages, strengthens and celebrates the future of sudden cardiac arrest training, response and survival by recognizing 40 outstanding individuals who are under 40 years of age. In order to be considered as a 40 Under 40 honoree, individuals must have made a meaningful contribution to SCA outcomes in a personal or professional setting, including: saving an individual’s life; training, preparedness and implementation in a community, group or business setting; raising awareness on a local, regional or national scale; unique progress, contributions or findings in cardiac arrest science, practice and/or research; and product innovations, inventions or enhancements.

The 40 Under 40 Class of 2023 will also be formally recognized as part of the CASSummit. More information is available at www.CitizenCPRSummit.org.


About the Citizen CPR Foundation:

Founded in 1987, the mission of the Citizen CPR Foundation is to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest by stimulating effective community, professional and citizen action. The non-profit foundation is supported by donations, including the generous funding of the Citizen CPR Foundation’s Partner Council, each member of which helps to advance the foundation’s life-saving mission through strategic collaborations, initiatives and outreach.

Every two years, the Citizen CPR Foundation holds its international Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit, formerly the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU), which features the latest information and trends in cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. CASSummit 2023 will be held Nov. 29–Dec. 2, 2023, in San Diego, and is made possible by conference sponsors: Signature Sponsor, ZOLL Medical; Diamond Sponsor, WorldPoint; Platinum Sponsors, American Heart Association, American Red Cross and Laerdal; Gold Sponsors, PRESTAN, Redflash Group and Cardio Partners; Silver Sponsors, CoroMed, Philips, Stryker and PulsePoint; and Bronze Sponsors, Global Resuscitation Network, Heart & Stroke and Innosonian America.

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Media Contact:

Janis Von Kaenel | jvonkaenel@augeomarketing.com

NFL Announces Expansion of Smart Heart Sports Coalition to 37 Member Organizations, Additional Support for CPR Instruction

Nina Hamlin to serve in special role as Honorary Chairwoman of coalition’s Ambassadors Advisory Council

NEW YORK (October 13, 2023) – As October marks Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, the NFL today announced that the Smart Heart Sports Coalition has expanded to 37 member organizations.

Founded in March 2023 in response to the life-saving emergency response and care provided to Damar Hamlin, the coalition seeks to drive the adoption in all 50 states of evidence-based policies that will prevent fatalities from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) among high school students and in school communities. The coalition comprises major sports leagues and organizations, as well as leading patient and health advocacy groups across the country.

New members represent parties along the chain of survival essential to recognizing and treating sudden cardiac arrest. Organizations joining the coalition include: Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC); The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM); John Taylor Babbit Foundation; Citizen CPR Foundation (CCPRF); National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT); National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS); the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES); Sports Safety International (SSI); Starting Hearts; the Max Harry Weil Institute for Critical Care Research and Innovation (Weil Institute) at the University of Michigan; and Who We Play For.

“We’re thrilled these organizations have joined our coalition with the shared goal and commitment of advancing life-saving policies for students in every state,” said Jeff Miller, NFL Executive Vice President of Communications, Public Affairs and Policy. “These groups will add to the coalition’s impact as we continue to engage in a vigorous, coordinated, and sustained advocacy effort to make school communities safer and more resilient.”

Since the coalition’s outreach and advocacy efforts began, California signed into law a bill that provides the state and its student athletes robust versions of all three policies promoted by the coalition, and several other states have moved to enact one or more of the evidence-based policies proven to prevent death from SCA, including New Mexico, Kentucky, Indiana, and Louisiana. The coalition is engaged with policymakers in more states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, and recently held a day of action at each statehouse to urge lawmakers to enact life-saving measures.

In addition to the expansion of the coalition, Nina Hamlin, Damar Hamlin’s mother, will serve as the Honorary Chairwoman of the coalition’s Ambassadors Advisory Council. This new group comprises current and former professional athletes from all sports, as well as other notable figures who will serve as advocates and spokespeople for the coalition’s state-level advocacy. Council members will engage in a range of activities and activations to raise awareness of the crucial policies to prevent SCA-related deaths among students.

“I’m pleased and humbled to accept the invitation to serve in this new role,” said Nina Hamlin, who helps to support her son’s Chasing M’s Foundation. “This work is another way for me to support Damar’s role as an advocate and his ongoing work off the field to make sure kids across the country have the same access to life-saving care that he did, if and when they need it.”

The NFL Foundation is also providing financial support to the American Heart Association’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign. This multi-year initiative is focused on school communities, teaching and training students, educators, and families how to be ready and respond to a cardiac emergency with the life-saving skill of Hands-Only CPR. With this additional grant funding, the NFL Foundation has now provided a total of more than $1 million to ensure schools and communities nationwide are better prepared and equipped to save the lives of those who experience sudden cardiac arrest.

“This is another important step in our long-standing partnership with the American Heart Association, which also is a founding member of the Smart Heart Sports Coalition,” said Anna Isaacson, NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility. “We look forward to continuing to work with the AHA to make our school communities safer places by teaching students and educators Hands-Only CPR. Together, we can help build a nation of lifesavers, one student, one school at a time.”

“As long-term collaborators, this represents a natural evolution of the American Heart Association and the NFL partnership, which has focused on children’s mental and physical well-being through NFL PLAY 60,” explained Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “Meeting children where they are in fun and engaging ways inspires children to get excited about health, including learning Hands-Only CPR. Together we are enhancing health outcomes both at home and beyond.”

New coalition members expressed their support of coalition efforts and optimism about the adoption of life-saving policies in states across the country:

Anekwe Onwuanyi, M.D., President, Association of Black Cardiologists

“As chief advocates for heart health in the Black community, the Association of Black Cardiologists is honored to join the NFL’s Smart Heart Sports Coalition. By organizations coming together, the coalition has the power to ensure that laws are in place in every state to require that schools be equipped to handle a sudden cardiac arrest when it occurs on school grounds or at a sporting event. When schools have emergency action plans in place and access to AEDs, as well as adequately trained personnel for the device and in CPR, there is a significant increase in the likelihood of a positive outcome when sudden cardiac arrest happens.”

Bill Roberts, M.D., FACSM, Chief Medical Officer, American College of Sports Medicine

“The American College of Sports Medicine proudly supports the NFL’s Smart Heart Sports Coalition because we all share the same priority of protecting young athletes. Together with our fellow coalition members, we look forward to helping achieve the worthy goal of preventing fatal outcomes from sudden cardiac arrest.”

JoAnne Taylor Babbitt, Vice President, John Taylor Babbitt Foundation

“The John Taylor Babbitt Foundation is proud to participate in the Smart Heart Sports Coalition’s nationwide initiative to save lives from sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac arrest in young people is not rare and can occur at any time or any place and often without warning. With the availability of AEDs and CPR, survival from sudden cardiac arrest improves drastically. Learning how to respond timely to these events and the development of an emergency response plan is easy and critical to creating a heart safe environment for our youth.”

Stuart Berger, M.D., President, Citizen CPR Foundation

“The Citizen CPR Foundation is honored to be a member of the Smart Heart Sports Coalition and join with other leading health advocacy groups as well as major sports organizations. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves alongside the partners to make every community HeartSafe and develop a ‘Damar Hamlin’ response for the more than 375,000 sudden cardiac arrests that happen to ordinary citizens in the U.S. every year and do our part to advocate for crucial policies that will save the lives of young people who experience SCA throughout the country.”

Susan Bailey, President, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)

“NAEMT is very pleased to join the Smart Heart Sports Coalition. Paramedics and EMTs regularly provide on-site support at sporting events for all types of athletes and education on CPR and AEDs to community residents. We understand the important roles of the public and EMS personnel in saving cardiac patients. We look forward to working with all of the coalition partners to achieve its mission.”

Karissa Niehoff, Ed.D., Chief Executive Officer, National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

“The National Federation of State High School Associations is proud to be a part of the Smart Heart Sports Coalition. With experts from multiple organizations that implement youth sports, the coalition will be able to influence policies and best practices regarding cardiac events in sports.”

Jeffrey J. Kim, M.D., FHRS, FACC, President, The Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES)

“The Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) is proud to serve on the Smart Heart Sports Coalition, and we wholeheartedly support the initiative to ensure young athletes are surrounded by the safest practices possible. By advancing life-saving policies related to cardiac arrest, including advocacy regarding CPR training, AED availability and use, and acceleration of resuscitation science, we believe we can truly make a difference together.”

Robb Rehberg, PhD, ATC, NREMT, Founder, Sport Safety International

“Sport Safety International is excited to join the Smart Heart Sports Coalition and looks forward to engaging with the NFL, member organizations, policy makers, and others to advocate for measures to prevent the number one cause of death in young athletes: sudden cardiac arrest. For over a decade, SSI’s mission has been to promote safe participation in sport and physical activity through education. Accordingly, we are committed to actively supporting the coalition’s mission, and eager to work collaboratively to make sports safer for young athletes.”

Alan Himelfarb, Executive Director, Starting Hearts

“Starting Hearts is honored to join the NFL and this dedicated group of professional organizations as a new member of the Smart Heart Sports Coalition. Our mission is to save precious lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims, too many of whom are our young athletes. As passionate educators, we strive every day through our age-appropriate curriculum to empower students and adults across the nation with the skills and confidence to provide early care when needed. We are truly grateful to the NFL and founding coalition members for leading this important initiative.”

Dr. Bob Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan

“The Max Harry Weil Institute for Critical Care Research and Innovation is delighted to partner with the Smart Heart Sports Coalition. We envision a future state where it is the expectation that athletes will survive sudden cardiac arrest, and believe this can be achieved through advocacy, education, training, research, and innovation. It will take a team effort, and we are excited to be on the team.”

Ralph Maccarone, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Who We Play For

“Who We Play For is proud to support the Smart Health Sports Coalition in their mission to raise awareness and the prevention of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in student athletes.”


About the Smart Heart Sports Coalition:

Launched in March 2023, the Smart Heart Sports Coalition comprises major sports leagues and organizations as well as leading health, and patient advocacy groups. The coalition’s goal is for every state across the country to adopt evidence-based policies proven to prevent fatalities from sudden cardiac arrest among high school athletes, including:

  • An athletic emergency action plan (EAP) that is venue specific, widely distributed, posted, rehearsed, and updated annually.
  • Clearly marked AEDs at each venue or within minutes of each venue where high school practices or competitions are held.
  • CPR education, including AED training, for coaches.

NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Miller, Seattle Seahawks Physician Jonathan Drezner to Keynote Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit
In Aftermath of Hamlin’s Cardiac Arrest, Will Discuss “The Smart Heart Sports Coalition”

Citizen CPR Foundation (CCPRF) is pleased to announce the National Football League’s (NFL) Jeff Miller as the keynote speaker and Jonathan Drezner, MD, as the opening plenary speaker for the 23rd biennial Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit (CASSummit) taking place Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2023, at the award winning Town and Country Resort in San Diego, Calif.

This year’s CASSummit’s theme is “Challenging the Status Quo,” and Miller and Dr. Drezner will discuss, “A Teachable Moment for the Nation: How the NFL Saved a Life.”

Miller is the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Communications, Public Affairs and Policy, a role that includes overseeing the league’s player Health & Safety programs. Dr. Drezner is the team physician for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, editor-in-chief of the British Journal of Sports Medicine and director of the University of Washington Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology.

Together, they will explore the incredible events that occurred on Jan. 2, 2023, when Buffalo Bills’ safety, Damar Hamlin, survived a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in front of a nationwide audience on Monday Night Football. The event became a teachable moment for the nation as the country was riveted by Hamlin’s recovery and the critical importance of bystander CPR and quick use of AEDs.

Since then, Hamlin has joined the NFL in their advocacy for availability of emergency action plans, CPR training and AEDs for athletes of all sports at every level. The NFL is clearly challenging the status quo in SCA for athletes by establishing The Smart Heart Sports Coalition, a collaboration between the NFL, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, as well as numerous major sports leagues. Now, CCPRF is honored to be a partner of The Smart Heart Sports Coalition and have this timely presentation from Miller and Dr. Drezner featured at this year’s CASSummit.

“This conference will continue to stress that we can all make a difference in this world and all be impactful participants in life-saving endeavors,” says Dr. Stuart Berger, CCPRF President and Medical Director of Heart Center of Lurie Children’s Hospital. “In the background of the Hamlin incident, you will hear how the NFL is partnering with the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and many other organizations including CCPRF to strive to optimize and codify all aspects of community participation in learning, teaching and intervention, and implementation.”

In addition to welcoming Miller, Dr. Drezner and announcing CCPRF’s involvement with The Smart Heart Sports Coalition, CCPRF is also excited to announce this year’s CASSummit Signature sponsor, ZOLL Medical, a medical devices and technology solutions company; and Diamond sponsor, WorldPoint, a healthcare and CPR training products company.

Registration to the Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit is open and the general public is welcome to attend and join the largest gathering of resuscitation professionals, educators, experts, influencers, advocates, survivors and community champions. For more information about the CASSummit and to register, visit www.citizencprsummit.org.


About the Citizen CPR Foundation and Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit
The mission of the Citizen CPR Foundation is to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest by stimulating effective community, professional and citizen action. CCPRF is an organization focused on year-round, ongoing programs and activities across the nation dedicated to our mission – saving more lives from cardiac arrest. CCPRF is a proud partner of The Smart Heart Sports Coalition. www.citizencpr.org.

Citizen CPR Foundation’s Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit is the central hub for resuscitation professionals, educators, experts, influencers and advocates, as well as the top decision-makers for resuscitation products, services and information. Join CCPRF’s CASSummit and Challenge the Status Quo on Nov. 29–Dec. 2, 2023, at the award-winning Town and Country Resort in San Diego. This multi-day summit brings together the widest array of professionals and individuals, as well as SCA survivors and community champions interested in connecting, learning and discussing the newest insights in improving community response to sudden cardiac arrest. www.citizencprsummit.org.

Follow the Citizen CPR Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Media Contact:

Janis Von Kaenel | jvonkaenel@augeomarketing.com

Citizen CPR Foundation Joins Every Second Counts for the
CPR & AED Awareness Rally & March

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Citizen CPR Foundation (CCPRF) will be participating in the 3rd Annual National CPR/AED Awareness Rally & March in Washington, DC on Friday, June 2nd, 2023. Over 150 heart advocates from all across the United States will provide CPR & AED demonstrations and training along the Northwest quadrant of the Washington Monument in the National Memorial Mall area.  Additionally, members of the group will march to the US Capitol Building to host a CPR Awareness Rally, followed by a second rally at the White House.

WHEN:         Friday, June 2nd – 9:00am-5:00pm – CPR/AED Demonstrations & Training (Free)

      • • March to US Capitol & Rally – 9:30am-12:00pm
      • • March to White House & Rally – 1:30pm-4:00pm

     Saturday, June 3rd – 9:00am-5:00pm – CPR/AED Demonstrations & Training (Free) 

WHERE:     Washington Monument – Memorial Mall
Northwest Quadrant
Washington, DC                           

WHO:           Participating organizations include, among others: Organizer – Ed Kosiec, Every Second Counts CPR Organization, AED Team, Cardiac Arrest Survivor Alliance (CASA), CEMS, Citizen CPR Foundation, DC Fire Department from Washington, DC, Have a Heart, Heart & Sole, Heart for Athletes, HeartCharged, Jessica Clinton Foundation, Lion Heart, Louis Acompora Foundation, Matt’s Mission, Parent Heart Watch, Peyton Walker Foundation, Prestan, PulsePoint, Push Health and Safety Services, LLC, Rescue One, RescueStat, SaveStation, Simon’s Heart, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, Surviving SCA, Terry Coleman from Kentucky, Tony and Felicia Tanzosh from North Carolina, WorldPoint, Zoll

WHAT:

Over a dozen organizations will set up booths and tents along the National Monument/Memorial Mall area to provide free CPR & AED demonstrations and training from 9:00am-5:00pm on Friday, June 2nd and Saturday, June 3rd. Anyone may participate in the events and learn how to perform CPR and how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).

Several members of the group will march to the US Capitol Building for a rally on the capitol steps. Senators and Representatives have been invited to participate in the Rally. The “Access to AED Act” (S1024 and H2370) legislation will be discussed. This legislation focuses on providing funding for schools to purchase AEDs, provide CPR training and develop emergency action plans.

Following the rally at the US Capitol, the group will later march to the White House for a second rally.

Statistics show that out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival is less than 10%. Often times, bystanders don’t know what to do in the event of a cardiac emergency. If CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is initiated quickly, and an AED is accessible and used on the victim, survival rates increase significantly.

Survival is why these groups are coming together and focusing on training the general public in how to perform CPR and how to use an AED. Anyone and everyone can help to save a life. Participants of the 3rd Annual National CPR & AED Awareness March and Rally include survivors of SCA, families who have lost children and loved ones to SCA, fire departments, industry suppliers and others. Many will share their stories in the hopes of inspiring community members to get involved.

“This event will bring together heart advocates from across the nation to create one voice to help increase survival rates of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. As someone who was saved by bystander CPR when I had my cardiac arrest in 2019, I personally know how important it is that everyone learns CPR. I’m alive today because someone had the skills and jumped in to save my life,” says Ed Kosiec, organizer of the 3rd Annual National CPR/AED Awareness Rally & March and director of the Every Second Counts CPR Organization.

ABOUT CITIZEN CPR FOUNDATION:

Founded in 1987, the mission of the Citizen CPR Foundation (CCPRF) is to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest by stimulating effective community, professional and citizen action. The non-profit foundation is supported by donations, including the generous funding of the Citizen CPR Foundation’s Partner Council, each member of which helps to advance the foundation’s life-saving mission through strategic collaborations, initiatives and outreach. The Partner Council includes AED Superstore, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Defibtech, Laerdal Medical, MD Solutions International, Philips, Prestan, WorldPoint and ZOLL. 

Every two years, CCPRF holds its international Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit (CASSummit), which features the latest information and trends in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CASSummit is the only opportunity to learn, collaborate on and implement the latest resuscitation science across the full chain of survival. CASSummit returns to San Diego at the award-winning Town and Country Resort on Nov. 29 – Dec. 2, 2023, with pre-conferences on Nov. 28 & 29. The theme for this year’s Summit is Challenging the Status Quo. For more information visit www.citizencprsummit.org. 

FACTS ABOUT SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST (SCA) and CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR):

  • SCA is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. (over 500,000 annually).
  • SCA is the #1 killer of student athletes in the U.S. and the leading cause of death on school campuses.
  • Every hour, every day, a student dies from SCA. The majority of those deaths are attributed to detectable and treatable heart conditions that went undiagnosed due to the limited scope of standard sports physicals & well-child check-ups.
  • Survival rates of SCA are less than 10%.
  • Some warning symptoms that can lead to SCA include: dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, ​chest pain, lightheadedness, and passing out.  The first symptom of SCA is often sudden death. However, the use of AEDs and CPR increase the chances of surviving an SCA event.
  • Out-of-hospital survival rates of SCA are under 10%.
  • CPR can double or triple the chance of survival when initiated quickly after a SCA event.

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Media Contact:

Janis Von Kaenel | jvonkaenel@augeomarketing.com

Johnson County, Iowa, is Now Recognized as a HEARTSafe Community Designation

Johnson County, Iowa — HEARTSafe Community, a national preparedness program dedicated to improving outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest led by Citizen CPR Foundation, is proud to announce Johnson County, Iowa, as one of its newest designations.

Johnson County joins other cities — most recently Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. and La Crosse, Wisc. — in achieving HEARTSafe Community status.

Initiated by the Rotary-Kerber HeartSafe Community Campaign, Dianne Atkins, MD, Medical Director of RKHCC, first learned of HEARTSafe Community while attending Citizen CPR Foundation’s biennial Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit.

“As we organized the Rotary-Kerber Campaign, we made becoming a HEARTSafe Community one of our goals,” says Atkins. “[It] was exciting since I could see how far along our community already was.”

Atkins approached Fiona Johnson, Director, Johnson County Ambulance Service, to submit an application. “The challenge was gathering all the data from so many partners in particular, determining how many people are trained in CPR annually was a challenge since so many entities in our county provide this lifesaving training,” says Johnson. “It was a good problem to face.”

Richard Shok, HEARTSafe Community Program Chair, says becoming a HEARTSafe Community is no easy accomplishment. This accreditation is a collaborative effort.

“The HEARTSafe approach combines the talents from numerous agencies and tasks them each with making specific changes in their readiness with the goal of increasing their level of preparedness,” says Shok. “Johnson County had already thought of and implemented a strong HEARTSafe foundation before they applied,” says Shok. “The designation team asked several clarifying questions and shared some additional advice on ways to improve survival. They were quick to respond and were subsequently awarded designation.”

To become HEARTSafe, the community must fulfill 13 criteria. Some of these requirements include establishing a lead organization to guide and coordinate local efforts, training 15 percent of the community population every year, developing and implementing strategies to improve public awareness and bystander intervention, permanently placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that can be quickly and reliably accessed, recognizing rescuers for their lifesaving efforts among other critical requisites. For a comprehensive list of criteria in order to become a HEARTSafe Community, click here.

“We are hoping the bystander CPR rate will increase and that overall survival will also increase,” says Linda Kerber, member of RKHCC and Steering Committee. “We already know of several individuals who are alive now because of bystander CPR. This is a model that inspires others.”

To launch the announcement of Johnson County being a HEARTSafe Community, the county plans to have a press conference at 10 a.m. CST on February 14. “Moreover, the Iowa City Noon Rotary Club raised approximately $150,000 to purchase large numbers of AEDs, which we offer to non-profits and businesses for deep discounts if they promise to train their staff in CPR and AED use,” says Kerber. “We educate those staff and many groups in the community so that we are increasing the numbers of competent bystanders who are prepared to step into a crisis situation.”

On February 16, Johnson County Board of Supervisors will make a proclamation declaring February ‘American Heart Month’ while also highlighting the HEARTSafe Community status. “We are also providing many CPR certification classes in addition to Hands-Only CPR classes throughout the year,” says Johnson.

Additionally, RKHCC and Johnson County are donating CPR mannequins and educational materials to public libraries so families are well-informed of lifesaving tools and practices.

“Cardiac arrest survival requires immediate response and cannot wait for EMS to arrive,” says Atkins. “We want to make sure that every victim receives CPR as fast as humanly possible.”

The Citizen CPR Foundation thanks Johnson County for the very hard work with regard to the recognition, response, care and outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest.

“This is a beautiful example of how communities work so very hard and leverage resources to save hearts too young to die,” says Stuart Berger, MD, President of the Citizen CPR Foundation Board and Division Head of Cardiology at the Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “Thank you so very, very much to all of those who have worked to achieve this designation.”

About the Citizen CPR Foundation

The mission of the Citizen CPR Foundation is to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest by stimulating effective community, professional and citizen action. This mission is put into action through three core values: We know that CPR and AED use saves lives. Collaboration among citizens, professionals, communities, and organizations is key to survival from cardiac arrest. Action based on best practices in science, education, and implementation improves outcomes. www.citizencpr.org

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Media Contact:

David B. Hiltz, Program Director

Citizen CPR Foundation

401-524-0858

david@code1web.com

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is Now Recognized as a HEARTSafe Community Designation

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. — HEARTSafe Community, a national preparedness program led by Citizen CPR Foundation dedicated to improving the outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest, is proud to announce Palm Beach Gardens as one of the newest cities to become HEARTSafe.

“We are honored and proud to be able to identify ourselves as a HEARTSafe Community,” says Ashley Terrana, District Captain, Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue. “Our dedication to improving the lives of our citizens has always been our motivation to receive this prestigious designation.”

Palm Beach Gardens joins a host of other cities in achieving HEARTSafe designation — most recently Johnson County, Iowa and La Crosse, Wisc.

“The HEARTSafe approach combines the talents from numerous agencies and tasks them each with making specific changes in their readiness with the goal of increasing their level of preparedness,” says Richard Shok, HEARTSafe Community Program Chair. “The result is a community which has ensured they are doing everything to prevent, respond to and learn from cardiac arrest emergencies.”

Shok says becoming a HEARTSafe Community is no easy accomplishment. “Palm Beach Gardens presented a strong case for HEARTSafe designation and their community and we were pleased to review their application and approve them for designation,” Shok says.

This accreditation is a collaborative effort.

To become HEARTSafe, the community must fulfill 13 criteria. Some of these requirements include establishing a lead organization to guide and coordinate local efforts, training 15 percent of the community population every year, developing and implementing strategies to improve public awareness and bystander intervention, permanently placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that can be quickly and reliably accessed, recognizing rescuers for their lifesaving efforts among other critical requisites. For a comprehensive list of criteria in order to become a HEARTSafe Community, click here.

HEARTSafe Community allowed Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue to partner with residents and business owners with the common goal of saving lives. “They took pride in the fact that their actions directly contributed to our success and this designation demonstrated our dedication and willingness to go above and beyond to improve our level of service,” says Terrana. “Additionally, our residents and business owners feel more connected to the community knowing that we could not have received this prestigious designation without their help. This is something we accomplished together.”

Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue relies on data to identify trends to improve the level of service, a HEARTSafe criteria.

“One hundred percent of our neurologically intact cardiac arrest patients received bystander CPR prior to the arrival of fire rescue,” says Terrana. “The fact is that our community is a vital link in the successful resuscitation of cardiac arrest patients.”

The Citizen CPR Foundation is proud to add Palm Beach Gardens as a HEARTSafe Community to its growing list of cities taking action to improve sudden cardiac arrest survival.

“We are so excited about the amazing work being done to improve recognition, response, care and outcomes in Palm Beach Gardens,” says Stuart Berger, MD, President of Citizen CPR Foundation Board and Division Head of Cardiology at the Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “This will save lives and is an excellent example of how communities can leverage resources to save hearts too young to die. We are so thankful to all who have worked to achieve this designation.”

Throughout February, Palm Beach Gardens will continue to teach Hands-Only CPR and AED use to over 650 city employees. “We have proclaimed this month Heart Month and what better month than to drive home the importance of knowing Hands-Only CPR, signs and symptoms of a heart attack and how to use an AED,” says Terrana.

In addition, Palm Beach Gardens will have multiple large-scale events and will continue to have fire rescue and community education personnel on-site teaching Hands-Only CPR. “These community events give our firefighter paramedics an opportunity to interact with the public and teach them the importance of bystander CPR,” says Terrana.

About the Citizen CPR Foundation

The mission of the Citizen CPR Foundation is to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest by stimulating effective community, professional and citizen action. This mission is put into action through three core values: We know that CPR and AED use saves lives. Collaboration among citizens, professionals, communities, and organizations is key to survival from cardiac arrest. Action based on best practices in science, education, and implementation improves outcomes. www.citizencpr.org

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Media Contact:

David B. Hiltz, Program Director

Citizen CPR Foundation

401-524-0858

david@code1web.com

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