For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
RENO, NV – As February and American Heart Month come to a close, the Washoe County Health District encourages all Washoe County citizens to work together to promote and improve heart health and increase awareness and understanding of heart disease.
“There are several steps everyone can take to keep “Heart Healthy,” like making healthy choices regarding smoking, nutrition, physical activity, medical care and other lifestyle factors,” said Mike Brown, former Fire Chief of the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, and Washoe County District Board of Health member. “Collectively we’ve taken steps to be “Heart Healthy” and were recently designated a HeartSafe community,” said Brown.
The HeartSafe designation is an award which recognizes communities that have taken steps to strengthen the “chain of survival” and improve the system for preventing sudden cardiac arrest. Because of this designation those who live, work and visit here can feel confident that the community is prepared to recognize and respond to heart emergencies.
With Brown and other participating collaborators, first responders and health care facilities worked together to meet the standards set by Nevada Project Heartbeat, which implements the State’s HeartSafe Community program. Brown particularly cited the leadership and direction provided by the Health District’s Emergency Medical Services Oversite Program and the other members of the group that made HeartSafe happen. The new HeartSafe program recognizes those collective efforts of agencies and organizations to enhance and improve the pre-hospital system of medical care, increase awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, increase placements of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and make their community a healthier place to live and visit.
HeartSafe designation also requires that participating agencies provide CPR and AED training to community members and have lifesaving AEDs available in public buildings. Emergency responders from all local fire agencies and REMSA are trained and prepared to provide early advanced care in the field. The designation also relies on our hospitals to have integrated programs like Mission Lifeline for STEMI (heart attack) and a stroke center to care for people after a cardiovascular emergency.
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