Published on December 02, 2016

American Heart Association, Owensboro Health Partner To Train Nearly 24,000 Area Students In CPR

On Thursday, December 1 the American Heart Association and Owensboro Health Regional Hospital announced together they would train nearly 24,000 middle and high school students in CPR through the CPR in schools program. As part of the announcement, students from Daviess County High School were trained in Hands-Only CPR.

“Owensboro Health is pleased to continue this important partnership with the American Heart Association,” said Debbie Zuerner Johnson, Director of Community Engagement for Owensboro Health. “By providing training and resources to school systems in the region, we are living out our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve.”

The goal of the CPR in schools program is to teach students the basic skills of saving a life through Hands-Only CPR. Any educator or student can facilitate the training session in one class period. During the training session, students practice on a Mini Anne® Plus manikin while watching and learning CPR skills on the DVD. The kit comes complete with a facilitator guide and a facilitator binder that include a Lesson Plan, pre- and post-tests, a certificate of participation, and additional resources. This method is a research-proven way for students to learn and retain the lifesaving skills of CPR.

This program will support the teaching of students in the Owensboro Public School, Daviess County Public Schools, and Owensboro Catholic Schools systems. In addition, students from Breckinridge, Henderson, McLean, Muhlenberg and Ohio school districts will also receive CPR training.

This training is a result of a $17,000 Owensboro Health Regional Hospital grant that was awarded to the American Heart Association. This grant will fund kits that will be used during the 2016-2017 through 2018-2019 school years.

“CPR training is a critical skill that everyone should learn,” said Sonya Vezmar, Community CPR Manager for the American Heart Association. “In as little as 30-minutes we can train the next generation of lifesavers. Thanks to the generosity of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital we are going to make a lasting impact on many communities in Central and Western Kentucky.”

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S., and nearly 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year. Unfortunately, nearly 90% of cardiac arrest victims do not survive mostly because they don’t receive timely CPR.

Schools can play a pivotal role by creating a generation of lifesavers by making sure all students learn CPR before they graduate. In less than 30 minutes we can give students the skills they need to help save someone’s life. Without immediate, effective CPR from a bystander, a person’s chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest decreases 7 percent to 10 percent per minute.

This training is part of the American Heart Association’s ongoing effort to lower the risks of cardiovascular disease. In April 2016, Governor Matt Bevin signed into law a bill that ensures Kentucky high school students receive basic CPR training as part of high school health education, physical education or Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps course. The funding provided by Owensboro Health Regional Hospital will ensure area schools have the proper equipment to learn this life-saving skill.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. As part of our dedication to save lives, we are setting out to train all Americans in lifesaving Hands-Only CPR. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital, the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 200 providers at more than 20 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a surgical weight loss center and program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have 16,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 24,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 200 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 70,000 Emergency Department visits, more than a million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.

Learn More About Owensboro Health

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