COLUMBIA, Maryland, April 5, 2024 – The American Heart Association, the worldwide leader in resuscitation science and education, and Wegmans are adding lifesavers to the chain of survival by providing Hands-Only CPR education resources in the community.

On Friday, the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association received 16 CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports™ Training Kits courtesy of Wegmans at the grocer's Columbia location.

These training kits are designed for youth coaches to ensure they and their community know the lifesaving skills of CPR, how to use an AED, and how to help during sports-related emergencies. Each kit can train approximately 300 people per year.

“Too often, when a person – including a young athlete – suffers a cardiac arrest outside the hospital, they don’t get the help they need to survive,” said Tracy Brazelton, executive director of the American Heart Association, Baltimore and Greater Maryland division. “Knowing how to respond and being confident in how to respond during a cardiac emergency can literally be the difference between life and death.”

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside a hospital setting each year. Additionally, more than 23,000 children suffer cardiac arrest annually, with nearly 40% happening in conjunction with sports-related activities. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple the chance of surviving cardiac arrest.

This donation is part of a greater commitment by Wegmans and the American Heart Association to distribute 300 CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports Training Kits among the nine states where Wegmans stores are located, including Maryland.

“At Wegmans, we are committed to improving the physical, emotional, and mental health of our communities,” said Ayana Douglas, Wegmans Maryland division manager. “For years, we have sponsored youth sports programs because of the important role they play in providing positive activities for kids, while also promoting social and personal development, physical and mental health, and their ability to bring communities together.

“Through this collaboration, we’re expanding the support we give to organizations such as MSYSA, not only helping to ensure youth sports remain accessible in our communities, but also providing the knowledge and training to help keep our young athletes safe,” Douglas said.

MSYSA Executive Director Greg Smith thanked Wegmans and the American Heart Association for making the CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports Training Kits available to the local soccer community.

“We are excited to work with our amazing affiliate clubs over the coming months to use these kits to train thousands of people adding critical lifesavers to the local chain of survival,” Smith said.

The American Heart Association is working to increase the number of bystanders who use CPR in an emergency.

“Thanks to support from Wegmans, we are expanding the reach of our Nation of Lifesavers, and giving members of the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association the skills they need to respond should a cardiac arrest occur,” Brazelton said.

For more information this initiative, visit, and visit to learn more about Nation of Lifesavers™ and Hands-Only 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 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, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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