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February 14, 2013

Media Contact: Scott Golden
(804) 354-5252,

American Heart Association and Cities of Service Announce Virginia Beach Wins Hands-Only™ CPR Training Kit Grant

One of five cities receiving 1,000 CPR Anytime kits to implement the Cities of Service Volunteer CPR Blueprint to improve cardiac arrest survival rates

VIRGINIA BEACH – Feb. 14, 2013 – Virginia Beach is one of five cities across the country chosen to receive 1,000 Hands-Only CPR training kits each to help turn more of their residents into lifesavers.

Austin, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Savannah, Ga.; and Virginia Beach, Va., were the grant winners announced today by the American Heart Association and Cities of Service, a bi-partisan coalition of more than 150 mayors who have committed to using service to address pressing local needs.

The training kit grants will support the implementation of the Cities of Service Volunteer CPR Blueprint, a high-impact service strategy in which the mayor’s office partners with local healthcare professionals and emergency responders to train volunteers to use the lifesaving Hands-Only CPR technique. The Blueprint calls for the volunteers who are trained by professionals to teach CPR to at least five other residents, vastly improving a community’s ability to respond to sudden cardiac emergencies. Each grant is valued at $20,000.

In Virginia Beach, the kits will be used to train Virginia Beach residents at local events, community centers, churches, businesses and schools.

“The more people who are trained in CPR, the more lifesavers we have in communities who can act as first responders when citizens go into cardiac arrest,” said Stephanie Phipps, Executive Director for the American Heart Association in Hampton Roads. “Getting people at a grassroots level to not only learn Hands-Only CPR, but to share it with others, is one way the American Heart Association is working to ensure all Americans know the simple steps to save a life with Hands-Only CPR.”

The Hands-Only CPR Training Kit grant program is part of the American Heart Association’s national Hands-Only CPR campaign, which is supported by a three-year, $4.5 million grant from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation. The campaign uses public service announcements, social media and a multi-state mobile training tour to teach the Hands-Only CPR method as part of an aim to double the rate of survival from cardiac arrest by 2020. “Our mission is to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in the communities we serve, so supporting the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR campaign is a natural fit,” said C. Burke King, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  “Too many people die unnecessarily each year from sudden cardiac arrest and we are committed to do our part to help improve this public health crisis.”

Nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, and 89 percent of Americans die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. Hands-Only CPR is a quick, easy way to save more lives. If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, (1) Call 9-1-1; and (2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest. Doing these compressions at the proper beat can more than double a person’s chances of survival; coincidentally, the proper beat matches the classic Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive.”

“The Volunteer CPR Blueprint is a tested service strategy that has helped mayors train more than 150,000 Americans in Hands-Only CPR,” said Katie Leonberger of the Cities of Service coalition. “We’re thrilled to work with the American Heart Association to spread this lifesaving technique to more cities and thousands more Americans nationwide.”

Details on the grant recipients:

• Austin, Texas: The City of Austin’s goal is to train at least 500,000 people (roughly half of its resident population) in the next 10 years; these kits will help in meeting that goal. So far, more than 10,000 people have been trained in Hands-Only CPR, ultimately improving the city’s out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rate from less than 7 percent to more than 13 percent, and improving the number of bystanders who attempt CPR to 44 percent.  

• Buffalo, New York: The City of Buffalo aims to use the kits to train 6,000 city residents in CPR training sessions led by local emergency responders, health agencies, and volunteers. Buffalo will implement the Hands-Only CPR technique in schools to better equip teachers, professionals, and families for emergency preparedness.

• Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The City of Milwaukee’s goal, through a partnership between the Mayor’s Office and the Fire Department, is to train the city’s 70,000-plus college students, employees of large companies, and targeted high-risk communities.

• Savannah, Georgia: The City of Savannah’s goal is to conduct an intensive Volunteer CPR initiative throughout 2013 with the help of a broad coalition of community service providers. The program will be coordinated through a partnership between the City and Saving Lives In Chatham County, Inc. (SLICC), a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to training citizens to recognize and treat cardiac arrests and strokes.

• Virginia Beach, Virginia: The City of Virginia Beach’s goal is to work with their Emergency Medical Service to train a total of 5,000 residents in Hands-Only CPR – which will be accomplished by training 1,000 local residents using CPR Anytime Kits and encouraging them to train at least four additional friends and relatives.

Cities interested in the grant program or joining the Cities of Service coalition can email to learn how to get involved.

For more information about Cities of Service, visit and to learn more about Hands-Only CPR, visit


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. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit   or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook   and Twitter

About Cities of Service
Founded in September 2009 in New York City by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors committed to addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. By leveraging citizen service strategies, Cities of Service helps mayors address local needs and make government more effective. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter @CitiesofService.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to reduce the number of uninsured as well as organizations and nonprofit charities that promote the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These 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 annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about the Foundation please visit


Media Contact:
Scott Golden
Ph: (804) 354-5252