MI HEARTSafe designation awarded to more than 200 schools, most ever in program's five-year history

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Oct. 1, 2018

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Education (MDE), American Heart Association, Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY) have awarded 211 schools with the MI HEARTSafe School designation for the 2018-19 school year.

This designation recognizes schools prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies. To receive a MI HEARTSafe School designation, schools must have:

  • A written medical emergency response plan and team.
  • Current CPR/AED certification of at least 10 percent of staff and 50 percent of coaches, including 100 percent of head varsity coaches and 100 percent of Physical Education staff.
  • Accessible, properly maintained and inspected Automated External Defibrillators (AED) with signs identifying locations.
  • Annual cardiac emergency response drills.
  • Pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes using the current physical and history form endorsed by MHSAA.

“Sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 300 Michigan children and young adults annually,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Having schools prepared for cardiac emergencies can help decrease the number of these tragedies one community at a time.”

To assist schools in achieving these requirements, MAP-SCDY is hosting a workshop Oct. 23 in Lansing to educate schools on how to become a MI HEARTSafe school. This workshop will provide tips on program implementation, advice from school champions and much more. Online registration is available for this free workshop.  

“We are proud to support Michigan’s HEARTSafe schools,” said interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles. “Ensuring schools are prepared for sudden cardiac emergencies through planning, training and life-saving AEDs is an important part of having safer learning environments for students, staff and the community. This is an important part of the Michigan Department of Education’s plan to become a Top 10 education state in 10 years.”

Public Act 12 of 2014 requires all schools, grades K - 12, to have a cardiac emergency response plan in place, and Public Act 388 of 2016 requires CPR and AED instruction for pupils enrolled in grades 7 - 12. Since inception of the program, the MI HEARTSafe School Program has recognized 482 school buildings that have taken steps above and beyond to prepare to respond in the event of a cardiac emergency.

This is MI HEARTSafe Schools program’s fifth year. The designation lasts for three years, and this year 100 schools received their second MI HEARTSafe designation. Currently, 442 schools are designated as MI HEARTSafe Schools.

For the list of participating schools, visit Migrc.org/Library/HeartSafeSpotlight.html.

For more information about the MI HEARTSafe Schools program, visit Migrc.org/miheartsafe or email MDHHS-MI-HEARTSafe@michigan.gov.

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