AUSTIN, May 20, 2024 — Advocates from across the state gathered at the Texas capitol on May 16 to discuss the importance of having cardiac emergency response plans (CERPs) in Texas schools. CERPS are written documents that establish steps to reduce the instances of death from cardiac arrest in school settings. The plans can be a stand-alone guideline or merged with a school’s existing medical emergency response plans.

To bring awareness to CERPs, the American Heart Association-Austin invited supporters to the state capitol to advocate for public health, participate in legislative meetings and participate in hands-only CPR training led by Jim Myers, business development manager for health strategies at the Association.

Attendees included Chloe Burke, a heart survivor and local advocate who experienced cardiac arrest while cheering at a college football game and was saved by CPR.  It took a year of medical testing and 12 heart procedures to diagnose her rare heart condition. She said research funded by the American Heart Association at the Stanford University School of Medicine provided doctors with the skills needed to correct her heart issue.   

As a former elementary school teacher, Burke understands the importance of having CERPs in schools and having the funds to support them. The safety of students, staff and visitors can be enhanced when CERPs are in place and staff are trained and empowered to administer lifesaving care until emergency medical services arrive.

More than 356,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital annually in the U.S.[1] and nearly 90% of them are fatal.[2] A CERP can increase survival rates from cardiac arrest by 50% or more by enabling a trained lay-responder team to act.[3] And in schools with AEDs, approximately 70% of children survive cardiac arrest – 7 times the overall survival rate for children.

For 100 years, the American Heart Association has saved and improved lives, pioneered scientific discovery and advocated for healthy public policies in communities across the country. These bold moves are fueled by our mission to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives. They have helped transform our nation’s health and significantly reduce heart disease and stroke death rates. But these gains have not been shared equitably. Black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Asian American, Pacific Islander and LGBTQ+ people have suffered and died disproportionately. So have people in historically underrepresented communities all over the country. With Bold Hearts™ and powered by science, we pledge to work relentlessly to eliminate heart disease and stroke, optimize brain health and ensure equitable health in every community.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on, Facebook or X by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


For media inquiries:

Mary Holguin: M 972-983-6279;

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and


[1]  Benjamin EJ, Virani SS, Callaway CW, Chamberlain AM, Chang AR, Cheng S, Chiuve SE, Cushman M, Delling FN, Deo R, de Ferranti SD. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2018 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2018 Mar 20;137(12):e67-492. Table 16-1.

[2] Virani SS, Alonso A, Benjamin EJ, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2020 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2020 Mar 3:E139-596.

[3] Rose et al. Cardiac Emergency Response Planning for Schools: A Policy Statement. NASN School Nurse. 2016 31(5), 263-270. doi: 10.1177/1942602X16655839.