American Heart Association and Cities of Service team up to help save more lives with Hands-OnlyTM CPR

Competitive grant program funded by WellPoint Foundation to provide 5,000 CPR Anytime kits to select U.S. cities

July 23, 2012 Categories: Program News
DALLAS – The American Heart Association and a nationwide coalition of mayors today announced a new program to arm thousands of people with lifesaving skills in Hands-OnlyTM CPR.
Five U.S. cities will each be awarded up to 1,000 CPR Anytime kits. The program supports the implementation of the Cities of Service Volunteer CPR Blueprint. Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors committed to addressing pressing city needs through impact volunteering. Volunteer CPR is a high-impact service strategy in which the mayor's office, through partnerships with local medical professionals or emergency responders, trains volunteers to use the lifesaving Hands-Only CPR technique.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death. Nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, and survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby. Sadly, 89 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene.
The American Heart Association believes that Hands-Only CPR can change that devastating statistic by teaching Americans just two easy steps to save a life: If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, (1) Call 9-1-1; and (2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic Bee Gees disco song “Stayin’ Alive.” Performing Hands-Only CPR at this beat can more than double or triple a person’s chances of survival. 
“The more people who are trained in CPR, the more lifesavers we have in communities who can act as first responders when citizens go into cardiac arrest,” said Donna Arnett, Ph.D., American Heart Association president. “We are confident that the distribution of these 5,000 training kits will help us reach our goal to double bystander CPR response and survival from cardiac arrest by 2020.”
The Volunteer CPR Blueprint calls for volunteers trained by professionals to teach CPR to at least five other residents – vastly improving a community’s ability to respond to sudden cardiac emergencies. The approach is showing promise. More than 119,000 New Yorkers have been trained in CPR to help improve the city’s cardiac arrest survival rates. In Houston, more than 13,000 residents have been trained.
"Dramatically increasing the number of citizens trained in Hands-Only CPR through this volunteer-fueled initiative can help a city improve its cardiac arrest survival rates and enhance emergency preparedness," said Katie Leonberger, who manages the Cities of Service coalition. "We are thrilled to partner with the American Heart Association to help more mayors pursue this high-impact service strategy."
To apply for the grant, cities must be members of the Cities of Service coalition and submit an online proposal that meets the objectives of the Volunteer CPR Blueprint. Grants are available for cities located in the following 14 states, plus two markets in Texas (Austin and Houston): California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The deadline to submit grant applications is Sept. 17; the five selected cities will be notified in October.
The training kit grant program is part of the American Heart Association’s national Hands-Only CPR campaign. Supported by a three-year, $4.5 million grant from the WellPoint Foundation, the campaign uses public service announcements, social media and a multi-state mobile training tour to teach the Hands-Only CPR method and contribute to the American Heart Association’s goal to double survival from cardiac arrest by 2020.
Cities interested in the grant program that are not members of Cities of Service can visit to learn how to encourage their mayor to join.
For more information about Cities of Service, visit and to learn more about Hands-Only CPR, visit
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. As part of our dedication to save lives, we are setting out to train all Americans in lifesaving Hands-Only CPR. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 visit  or call any of our offices around the country.
About Cities of Service
Founded in September 2009 in New York City by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors committed to addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. By leveraging citizen service strategies, Cities of Service helps mayors address local needs and make government more effective.
About WellPoint Foundation
The WellPoint Foundation is the philanthropic arm of WellPoint, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of WellPoint, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that WellPoint, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. To learn more about the WellPoint Foundation, please visit
Sydney Holt
American Heart Association