Washington, D.C., March 12, 2024 — The U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health today approved the Cardiomyopathy Health Education, Awareness, Research and Training in Schools (HEARTS) Act, which would help ensure students and staff are prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency. The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health that is celebrating its centennial birthday this year, issued the following statement:

“When someone experiences a cardiac arrest at school, their chance of survival should not depend on whether or not an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is close by or if someone can perform Hands-Only CPR until emergency responders arrive. In schools with proper equipment and cardiac emergency response plans (CERPs), students and staff know what to do immediately to save a life.

“The American Heart Association is pleased with the bipartisan support for the HEARTS Act, which would require the Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with other agencies and stakeholders, to develop and distribute educational resources on cardiomyopathy, a leading cause of disability and sudden cardiac death among young people. The bill also calls for guidelines regarding the placement of AEDs in schools and child care centers, the establishment of CERPs and information on CPR training.

“We are also thrilled that the HEARTS Act was further strengthened by integrating key aspects of the bipartisan Access to AEDs Act, sponsored by Reps. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Bill Posey. During subcommittee markup, the HEARTS Act was amended to include provisions that will provide much-needed federal support to help schools purchase AEDs, create CERPs and conduct CPR and AED trainings. With more than 100 cosponsors in the House and bipartisan support in the Senate, the Access to AEDs Act has a solid foundation of support throughout Congress.

“We greatly appreciate Ranking Member Frank Pallone for sponsoring the HEARTS Act and thank Chair Brett Guthrie and his colleagues for unanimously moving this bill forward. We applaud them for their commitment to saving lives. We urge the Energy and Commerce Committee to swiftly pass the HEARTS Act during full committee markup. In tandem with efforts in states across the country, this bill will help create a Nation of Lifesavers and make our schools safer for students, staff and visitors on campuses nationwide.”


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 heart.org, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1. 

For Media Inquiries:
Arielle Beer: 202-785-7902; arielle.beer@heart.org  
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org