American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR Campaign Helps Save Lives with Support from Anthem Foundation

$7.8 million grant from Anthem Foundation continues to fund nationwide campaign & CPR mobile tour

April 07, 2015 Categories: Program News

(DALLAS, April 7, 2015) – For the past three years, the American Heart Association and Anthem Foundation have been working to educate millions of Americans about Hands-Only- CPR. The campaign and mobile tour have educated over three million consumers in the lifesaving skill with the goal of preparing people to save the lives of perfect strangers…or those they love most. For Anthem’s Jerry Kertesz, VP of National Accounts, it was the latter.

Jerry learned Hands-Only CPR at a sales conference this past spring and just three weeks later, he used the skill to save the life of his wife Lisa. On the morning of April 9, 2014, Lisa went into cardiac arrest and Jerry quickly began administering Hands-Only CPR. After Lisa was stabilized and on the mend, every doctor involved in Lisa’s treatment and care told the Kerteszes that Jerry’s quick actions saved her life.

Jerry’s story is just one testament to the effectiveness of this campaign. It’s also the foundation of why Anthem Foundation and American Heart Association are teaming up for another five years to educate millions more Americans – to save more lives. Through a $7.8 million dollar grant from Anthem Foundation, the Hands-Only CPR campaign will aim to train nearly nine million people via its mobile tour, online training videos and kiosks. The mobile tour will visit 29 markets over the course of the next 5 years.

“We are so proud to see the mission of this campaign realized through Jerry’s story,” said Bernie Dennis, Chairman of the Board of the American Heart Association. “Three years ago, we knew raising awareness about Hands-Only CPR would result in lives saved, but it is truly rewarding to see one of those lives hit so close to home for our organizations. But home is exactly where most cardiac arrests happen, and that is why this campaign is so important.”

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death with over 326,000 out-of-hospital cases occurring every year in the United States. Seventy percent of those happen in homes or residential settings. When a teen or adult has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. Survival rates drop as much as 10 percent for every minute that goes by without intervention.

“Supporting initiatives that empower consumers to become actively engaged in their health and wellness is key to the Anthem Foundation’s mission,” said Lance Chrisman, Executive Director, Anthem Foundation.  “The American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR campaign is an example of an innovative program that provides individuals with the opportunity to learn an important life-saving technique that is easy and simple to follow; we are pleased to continue to support the AHA in their effort to reach millions across the country and share this important educational tool.”

The Hands-Only CPR campaign’s success has been due, in part, to its tie to music. The Bees Gees’ hit song "Stayin’ Alive" has the rate of at least 100 beats per minute, the same rate recommended for performing Hands-Only CPR. As the campaign and science have evolved, more songs have been introduced as helpful reminders of what to do in a cardiac emergency: 1) If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 9-1-1; and 2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive”… or “Another One Bites the Dust”… or “I will Survive,” to name a few.

To learn more about the Hands-Only CPR campaign and learn how to save a life visit or

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 Anthem Foundation
The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of Anthem, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem, 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 year-round Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundationand its blog at


Accredited Media Inquiries Only:

Kailey Shatzer, American Heart Association

O: 214-706-1538

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