For Immediate Release: July 25, 2013
AtlantiCare representatives presented an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) Boardwalk Ambassadors July 23 on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. The presentation was the 100th AtlantiCare has made since 2002 through the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Heart Heroes Matching Funds Program. View a video of the presentation.
The ARMC Heart Heroes is a volunteer group that raises funds for the Heart Institute at ARMC through the AtlantiCare Foundation to place AEDs in the community. The Heart Heroes fund a portion of the AED and community groups and/or organizations provide the remaining funds. AEDs can restore a normal heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Audible and/or visual prompts guide the user through the process. To mark the 100th donation, AtlantiCare covered the full cost of the AED.
“These 100 AEDs have gone to schools, police and fire departments, various municipalities, community organizations, parks, businesses, and places of worship,” said David Tilton, president and CEO, AtlantiCare. “All are places where the public gather and where together, we have a chance to save a life. CRDA and many others are doing great work to enhance the visitor and resident experience in Atlantic City. The ambassadors – and all of our community partners who now have AEDs - are helping AtlantiCare raise awareness about the importance of prompt care for heart attack, and demonstrating their commitment to the well-being of our community.”
“This is the second AED AtlantiCare has presented to CRDA,” said John Palmieri, executive director, CRDA. “On eight occasions our ambassadors have had to use the AED in resuscitating people on the boardwalk.”
Representatives of many of the organizations that received an AED through the program attended the presentation.
“When it comes to a heart attack, time is muscle,” said Howard Levite, MD, medical director, the Heart Institute and of ARMC’s Cardiac Catheterization Labs. “Dialing 911 and having an AED can make a life-saving difference.
“We thank all of our Heart Heroes. Each has a personal reason for doing this important work,” said Levite, who explained an AtlantiCare Center for Childbirth nurse whose 27 year old son died of a heart attack is among the volunteers.
Lori Herndon, executive vice president, AtlantiCare and president and CEO, ARMC, thanked each volunteer and James Dralle, MD, chief of Cardiac Surgery, the Heart Institute, handed each a small gift as Levite recognized Ray Coleman, of Absecon; Pat McCarthy, of Mullica Township, a nurse at the Rodger B. Hansen Center for Childbirth at ARMC Mainland Campus who lost her son to a heart attack; Stephen Santiago, of Absecon, who learned about the Heart Heroes through a college internship with AtlantiCare; Kathy Rawa, of Egg Harbor City and her guide dog Missy; and founding members George and Louise Schieder, of Egg Harbor City and Rita Triola, of Mullica Township.
“We are proud to supply Powerheart G3 AEDs for the AtlantiCare Heart Heroes program,” said Al Ford, Cardiac Science Senior vice president, Sales / Marketing, and general manager, Resuscitation, Cardiac Science. “The Heart Heroes volunteers are helping organizations throughout southern New Jersey make life-saving AEDs readily available.”
The first AED presentation AtlantiCare made through the program was to the Northfield Community School in 2002. “To this day, we are so appreciative of AtlantiCare and what they have done for the safety and confidence of our community,” said Janice DeCicco Fipp, EdD, Northfield Community School superintendent.
AtlantiCare’s Heart Heroes History
The Heart Heroes began raising funds through the AtlantiCare Foundation in to place automated external defibrillators in the community after AtlantiCare’s Heart Institute, at ARMC Mainland Campus, became the only facility in the region to offer cardiac surgery in 2001. Among the Heart Heroes’ biggest fundraising activities are AtlantiCare’s Red Dress Event, in February, an annual bus trip to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, Manhattan, New York and other bus trips. The next Radio City Music Hall trip will be December 10.
Those interested in becoming an ARMC Heart Hero volunteer should fill out a volunteer application online. Those interested in donating to the AtlantiCare Heart Heroes can do so by visiting the AtlantiCare Foundation donation web page.
About the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) www.njcrda.com
The only agency of its kind nationwide - the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents statewide, investing nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide. Under the 2011Tourism District legislation, CRDA responsibilities have expanded to include Land Use Regulation, Clean and Safe initiatives, attracting and retaining conventions and meetings at the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall and partnership with the Atlantic City Alliance to market and attract visitors to Atlantic City.
About CRDA Ambassador Program
CRDA Ambassador Program staff serve as eyes and ears of public safety and code enforcement as well as ambassadors of good will to visitors. CRDA maintains an ambassador staff of 75 with two social workers year round. There are five additional ambassadors April through September, with 14 additional members from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The ambassadors are on the Boardwalk, and on Pacific and Atlantic Avenues in Atlantic City and other areas of the Atlantic City Tourism District.
About the Heart Institute at ARMC
The Heart Institute at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Mainland Campus, Pomona, New Jersey, has the only full-service cardiac program in the area, providing everything from diagnostic cardiac catheterization to open heart surgery to electrophysiology.
AtlantiCare 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 5,461 employees and 600 physicians serve the community in more than 60 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
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