Posted on 05/06/2020
Dr. Richard Kerber
Dr. Richard Kerber

The Rotary-Kerber HeartSafe Community Campaign, with support from the Iowa City Noon Rotary Club, has been launched just in time for what would have been Dr. Richard E. Kerber’s birthday on May 10th. The initiative is inspired by the world-renowned cardiologist Dr. Kerber (1939-2016), University of Iowa Professor of Medicine and a founder of the American Heart Association cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines.

The campaign mission is to increase sudden cardiac arrest survival rates in Iowa City and Coralville, IA, by motivating laypersons to intervene effectively using CPR and AEDs. Goals include teaching Hands-Only CPR and AED use to local faith communities and service clubs, using social media and crowdsourcing to identify community AEDs, and using Google Maps to pinpoint all AEDs in all community public and private locations.

The campaign is led by Dr. James Merchant, a long-term colleague of Dr. Kerber, and Linda Kerber, his wife, along with Dr. Dianne Atkins, pediatric cardiologist at UI, another long-time colleague of Dr. Kerber.

“The Rotary-Kerber HeartSafe Community Campaign will not only assist the City of Iowa City and the City of Coralville to become level 5 Certified HeartSafe Communities,” said Dr. Atkins, “it will serve as a model for other Rotary clubs to work with their own communities to achieve similar goals.”

“Most importantly,” she said, “the campaign will directly address local community needs for those most vulnerable to SCA, incrementally save lives, and, over time, help achieve the goal of becoming among the nation’s best prepared and certified HeartSafe Communities with 60%+ survival.”

For more information, visit