Petaluma Earns “HeartSafe Community” Designation

HSC Designation - Group Photo

PETALUMA, Calif., June 17, 2015 – Petaluma Health Care District(PHCD) is pleased to announce that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Petaluma City Council have designated Petaluma a HeartSafe Community, formally celebrating PHCD’s efforts to address heart health education and provide life-saving CPR trainings to combat Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) outside of hospital walls through its HeartSafe Community initiative (HSC). Petaluma is Sonoma County’s first city to receive the designation.

“The collaborative success, and our community leaders’ recognition, of the HeartSafe Community initiative once again demonstrate that Southern Sonoma County is prioritizing health and wellness as a critical component to a thriving community,” said PHCD CEO Ramona Faith. “PHCD sees total health as more than just illness prevention and we are ecstatic to see the strides local leaders and community members are taking to help us address these issues.”

Knowing that more than 300,000 Americans are victims of SCA each year, PHCD launched HSC in 2013 to strengthen Southern Sonoma County’s response to cardiac emergencies through cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) trainings, strategic AED installation, maintenance and registration, and heart health education. The initiative is led by PHCD in collaboration with the Petaluma Fire Department, Coastal Valleys Emergency Medical Services, Petaluma Valley Hospital, St. Joseph Health System, Arrow Benefits Group, Rancho Adobe Fire District, Petaluma City Schools, Petaluma Save A Life, Save Lives Sonoma and the American Heart Association (AHA). HSC is managed by Healthquest CPR, an authorized AHA training center.

To earn the HeartSafe Community designation, PHCD and the HeartSafe Community Advisory Committee developed and implemented an action plan to meet criteria that demonstrate a strengthening of the “chain of survival” as described by the AHA. This includes widespread CPR/AED trainings; public access to AEDs; community education on signs and symptoms of heart attack and activating 9-1-1; and ongoing evaluation of the action plan to sustain the community’s HeartSafe designation. In recognition of HSC’s success, four “Golden Heart Awards” were presented at the City Council meeting to residents of the community who were trained through the program and used the skills they learned to save a life. Petaluma Fire Department Battalion Chiefs David Kahn and Jeff Schach presented Emmy Stephens-Jackson and Koko Stephens-Jackson with a certificate for their efforts that contributed to the saving of their mother Tena Jackson, Paul Dolcini for saving his brother Mike Dolcini, and John Olufs for saving a Petaluma resident. Several other instances of community members using HSC CPR or AED training have also been reported.

“We are extremely proud of all the work our team here at PHCD, along with our dedicated partners, have put into not only meeting – and, actually exceeding - the criteria to receive HeartSafe designation, but to make heart health and rescue preparedness a top priority in our community,” continued Faith. “Simply put, we know that the HeartSafe Community initiative has saved lives and will continue to do so as we bring CPR/AED training to more individuals, businesses and schools with this designation behind us.”

In honor of Petaluma’s designation and June being CPR/AED Awareness Month, PHCD is inviting businesses and community members to take advantage of special discounts on CPR and AED training, AED purchases, and heart health education. To learn more about the discounts or how you can support HSC, call Healthquest CPR at 707-766-9226 or email healthquest@phcd.org. Discounts will go through August 1, 2015, and participating businesses will receive special recognition in the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce Directory.

About Petaluma Health Care District The Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the Southern Sonoma County community through leadership, advocacy, support, partnerships and education. Its vision is to foster a healthier community, a thriving hospital and local access to comprehensive health and wellness services. PHCD has served the health and wellness needs of the community for more than 65 years and is a public agency managed by the community for the community. For more information, please visit www.phcd.org.

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