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Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation Honored in Lansing for making Michigan schools 'Cardiac Safe'

LANSING, Mich., April 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan lawmakers recognized Michigan Student Athlete Cardiac Awareness month in April by giving a warm greeting from the House floor to Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation representatives and supporters on Thursday, who are leading the effort to place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all Michigan schools.

April 2019 is officially Michigan Student Athlete Cardiac Awareness Month in accordance with House Resolution No. 53.  As part of the awareness program of spotlighting the problem of sudden cardiac arrest of Michigan students Randy Gillary, founder of the Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation was in Lansing on Thursday with his daughter Emily Kucinich, to meet with lawmakers to thank them for their support and outline additional efforts which can save countless lives.

"I express my thanks and appreciation to Representatives Angela Witwer, Padma Kuppa and Jon Hoadley for their support and willingness to further address the issue of sudden cardiac death of our Michigan students. I would also like to thank the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for its outstanding leadership role in helping to make our Michigan Schools safer for all who attend and visit," said Gillary. "Michigan is a leader in the nation in taking action to prevent the loss of our sons and daughters from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and other cardiac emergencies in our schools. This is in large part the direct result of the fact that the MDHHS has been leading an effective public-private collaboration that has yielded dramatically positive results." According to Gillary, there is still much more to do.

Gillary, who founded the organization with his family after the tragic loss of their daughter, Kimberly, at age 15 to sudden cardiac arrest in 2000, has been a catalyst for public-private partnerships to advance the cause by raising awareness of the issue of SCA of our sons and daughters and by donating AEDs training to Michigan schools.

Also attending were several members of student Everson Guild's family. Everson died of a sudden cardiac arrest in weight room in the summer of 2017 during football practice.  Everson's parents Laura and Chris Guild have worked to increase awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in our Michigan schools after the loss of their son.

We encourage Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, her administration and our legislators to join us in supporting the MDHHS to enable it to continue its outstanding public-private efforts," said Gillary. "We also request the support of Gov. Whitmer and our legislators in helping us to achieve the goal of ensuring that every school in Michigan earns the designation as a MI HEARTSafe School during Gov. Whitmer's tenure."

The public-private efforts of the MDHHS to-date include:

  • Organizing a group which ultimately became known as the Michigan Alliance for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY).  Today the MAP-SCDY is composed of approximately 30 organizations consisting of representatives from the MDHHS, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), physicians, non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, EMTs, school nurses, school athletic directors, representatives of our Michigan hospitals and charitable foundations.
  • All Michigan student athletes are now required to have a pre-participation screening by a medical professional using the new form as a condition to participation in any organized school sports programs.  The new form requires medical professionals who perform the pre-participation screenings, to conduct an initial screening to try to identify cardiac related risk factors in prospective student athletes. This is an important initiative that will save lives.
  • Establishing a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan (CERP) to ensure that all Michigan K-12 schools have a plan to enable it to respond to a cardiac emergency on school property.
  • Michigan has been the model for the nation. In fact, shortly after the Model CERP was posted on the MDHHS website, the American Heart Association (AHA) requested the MAP-SCDY to draft a National Model CERP.  The AHA National Model CERP prepared by the sub-committee is currently posted on the AHA website for use by any school in the United States – a national solution born from the fruits of public-private efforts in Michigan.
  • In 2013 the MAP-SCDY developed the MI HEARTSafe School Program which allows any Michigan K-12 school to qualify and to be designated as a MI HEARTSafe School.  Please refer to https://migrc.org/Library/heartsafeprogram.html.   Currently there are 442 of Michigan schools who are designated as MI HEARTSafe schools. 

For more information please visit www.kimberlysgift.org.

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SOURCE Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation