NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 21, 2023 —The American Heart Association recognizes Dr. Katherine Y. Brown during June, CPR Awareness Month, because of her legacy of volunteerism with the organization, having trained over a quarter of a million people in CPR.

Each year, more than 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital, and about 90% of those people do not survive. While CPR has been proven to double or triple the chance of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, the majority of Americans do not know how or feel comfortable enough to perform CPR.

Dr. Katherine Y. Brown has enthusiastically served the American Heart Association in a volunteer capacity for more than three decades. She is a recognized expert in health disparities and curriculum development and has traveled all over the world, teaching CPR.

“Over the course of her volunteer service, the impact Dr. Brown has had on our organization is immeasurable,” said Annie Thornhill, American Heart Association Middle Tennessee executive director. “She has led hundreds of Hands-Only CPR trainings with us since February, is always on-call as our CPR spokesperson and even played a vital role in setting the guidelines for CPR that healthcare providers and bystanders use today.”

Dr. Brown was honored with the 2023 Martin E. Simmons Award at the 49th Annual Middle Tennessee Heart Gala on March 11. In addition, a resolution was passed to honor Dr. Brown as the Middle Tennessee Heart Gala’s Martin E. Simmons Award winner on March 15. HJR 353, sponsored by Rep. Bo Mitchell, passed both chambers and was signed by Governor Lee.

“Dr. Brown has dedicated her life to teaching as many people as possible the lifesaving skill of CPR, and she truly lives out the mission of the American Heart Association – to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives,” said Dr. Veronica Mallet, Chief Administrative Officer More In Common Alliance Common Spirit Health. “I can’t think of a more deserving recipient for the Martin E. Simmons Award.”

Dr. Brown’s journey with the American Heart Association began during her youth in Chicago, Illinois where, with her mother (a nurse), she immersed herself in the life-saving culture of AHA. Since then, she has become an inspiring beacon, selflessly imparting vital CPR skills. Dr. Brown blazed trails establishing a freestanding CPR company on Chicago’s Southside. Today, she propels her life-saving crusade through Learn CPR America, LLC and through involvement with many facets of the AHA. As a mother of four, she’s infused the same sense of purpose into her children who frequently join her on the frontlines in community-based CPR initiatives.

What sets Dr. Brown apart is her approach to CPR education, encompassing creativity and innovation. In her own words, “From door-knocking campaigns to grassroots initiatives in the most unexpected places, there’s no place I won’t go to teach CPR. Everyone should know CPR. If you can teach a child to ride a bike, I can teach them CPR. I believe in meeting people where they are – even if that means I going to parks, churches, salons, sidewalks, and their homes to teach them.”

Dr. Brown’s expertise is sought after, and she has been called upon to teach on prominent stages including national conferences, television, and webinars. Her inspiring messages have reverberated through media channels as she consistently champions the life-saving potential of CPR. In a world where seconds can make a difference between life and death, Dr. Drown is committed to equipping communities with the tools to save lives. Her volunteerism goes above and beyond, rain or shine, and it is evident that she is passionate about CPR.



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 nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  


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