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Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation provides Cardiac Emergency Preparedness Grants

ATLANTA – Feb. 21, 2024 – As part of a three-pronged approach to improve cardiac emergency preparedness in Georgia, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has awarded a combined total of $600,000 in grants to the American Heart Association, Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

In January 2023, Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills suffered an on-field cardiac arrest incident during an NFL game. The lifesaving use of CPR and an AED quickly led to a national dialogue and action plans regarding emergency preparedness in sports.

"I hold a deep appreciation for organizations that educate our communities about life-saving cardiac measures," said Arthur M. Blank, owner and chairman, Blank Family of Businesses. "This work is personal to me as I lost my father to heart disease when I was 15. Education and training are the most powerful tools to prevent heart health tragedies and increase awareness, and I'm proud that our family foundation and the Atlanta Falcons are continuing to come together to support organizations leading this crucial effort."

More than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year in the United States. Globally, cardiac arrest claims more lives than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms and house fires combined. When an individual experiences sudden cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim's chance of survival if performed immediately.

In 2023, Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Raheem Morris played a pivotal role in reviving a lifeless three-year-old boy who was pulled from the bottom of a pool. Morris credited his actions to recent CPR and AED training in which he participated as a member of the Los Angeles Rams coaching staff.

"I can't stress the importance of CPR and AED training enough," said Morris. "You never know when an emergency is going to take place, and it's tremendously important to know what to do in that instance. I'm very grateful to have gone through the training last summer which prepared me to act when an emergency occurred on our family vacation, and prepared others to act in similar situations. The work of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and healthcare partners to provide CPR training to communities, while donating AEDs to schools and community organizations throughout Georgia, is outstanding and will help to save lives."

The foundation granted $250,000 to the American Heart Association (AHA) to support lifesaving CPR education through the Nation of Lifesavers program. The goal of the program is to turn bystanders into lifesavers, so that in the time of cardiac emergency anyone, anywhere is prepared and empowered to provide CPR. In partnership with the Atlanta Falcons, the AHA will provide training to Atlanta-area community members and organizations, fans and Falcons staff on CPR and First Aid preparedness during a cardiac emergency.

"What we know is that over 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen every year and more than 90% of those that go into cardiac arrest do not survive. The power is in our hands to change this," said Carla Smith, region senior vice president and executive director of the Metro Atlanta American Heart Association. "Increasing the number of bystanders that are equipped with the tools needed to respond in the event of a cardiac emergency through CPR and AED use could save the life of a family member, friend, neighbor or stranger. Through the collaboration with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the Atlanta Falcons, we will continue to be relentless in our efforts to extend the chain of survival across metro Atlanta and build a Nation of Lifesavers."

A $250,000 grant was awarded to Emory University to support the launch of the CPR Emergency Preparedness program, which will provide instructor-led training with hands-on, interactive educational sessions for participants. The AHA will provide CPR instruction for the program, and sports medicine professionals from Emory Healthcare, one of the nation's largest employers of athletic trainers, will lead training with youth sports officials and coaches to improve safety at the youth sports level. Participants will be trained in organizing a response team and developing an Emergency Action Plan, which includes the use of an AED and instructions for directing incoming EMS personnel.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta received a $100,000 grant to support Project S.A.V.E. Started in 2004, the mission of Project S.A.V.E. is to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in children, teens and young adults in Georgia communities. Project S.A.V.E. has grown into a highly acclaimed program providing lifesaving tools for schools, communities and community organizations. Since the program's inception, Project S.A.V.E. has brought AED and CPR training to every county in Georgia, awarded more than 1,450 HeartSafe certificates to Georgia schools and saved more than 125 lives.

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