SCCA honors efforts to address sudden cardiac arrest

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Microsoft Word - 10 reasons to use a medical display system.doc October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) has awarded its 2009 leadership awards, going to the New York City Fire Department and the governor of Illinois, among others.

The awards were presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the SCCA this month in Chicago. The recipients were:

Medical Leadership Award: Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY)
New York City's "NYC Project Hypothermia" is the nation's largest EMS-led therapeutic hypothermia program to give SCA patients state-of-the-art pre-hospital and in-hospital care.

The FDNY city-wide EMS 911 response protocol transports SCA patients directly to hospitals utilizing therapeutic hypothermia treatments and also begins cooling treatment in the field.

At least 40 hospitals throughout New York City's five boroughs are participating in Phase I of the program which began in January. Phase II of the program, in which ambulances will be equipped with therapeutic hypothermia devices such as specialized intravenous fluids, will be implemented in 2010.

Public Leadership Award: Governor Patrick Quinn of Illinois
While lieutenant governor of Illinois, Quinn worked with the Illinois General Assembly to pass the Colleen O'Sullivan law requiring defibrillators in schools, indoor park district facilities and physical fitness facilities.

At his urging, the General Assembly also established the Heartsaver AED Fund, which helps make AEDs more affordable by providing matching grants to those entities. In 2008, Quinn worked to expand the Colleen O'Sullivan Law to require defibrillators at outdoor park facilities as well.

Throughout his tenure as lieutenant governor and now governor, Quinn has been one of the nation's most visible public officials and advocates for improved emergency response for SCA victims.

Public Service Award: San Diego Project Heart Beat
A public access defibrillation (PAD) program, San Diego Project Heart Beat provides a community-wide approach to SCA response through broad AED deployment and CPR training. Since the program's inception in 2001, San Diego Project Heart Beat has helped deploy more than 4,000 AEDs, saved over 50 lives and trained tens of thousands of people how to perform CPR and use AEDs.

It has also generated strong community support for adopting progressive local laws further expanding the presence of AEDs throughout San Diego. The program is a public-private partnership between San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and Rural/Metro Ambulance.

June Daugherty Public Spirit Award: Joseph Ornato, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center
Named in honor of Washington State University women's basketball coach June Daugherty, who is an SCA survivor, the June Daugherty Public Spirit Award recognizes an individual who uses his/her public position to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and cardiovascular disease.

Ornato's career consists of numerous SCA research initiatives, membership in various cardiovascular-related industry working groups, academic instruction of best-practices and development of next-generation technologies.

He is past chairman of the American Heart Association's (AHA) National Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee and its Advanced Cardiac Life Support Subcommittee.

He serves as a special consultant to the Circulatory System Devices Panel of the FDA and currently is the co-chair of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium. Ornato was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine.