Ten years ago, several colleagues, who were passionate about saving lives, established the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We were driven by a conviction that tens of thousands of lives could be saved each year if more people understood the public health crisis of sudden cardiac arrest and the critical importance of immediate bystander intervention with CPR and automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
We set out to create a comprehensive information clearinghouse on sudden cardiac and a virtual meeting place for the exchange of information, ideas, and experiences related to the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest.
We have accomplished all this—and more. Today, our website, www.sca-aware.org, is the world’s most robust site solely focused on sudden cardiac arrest. It attracts tens of thousands of unique users each month from more than 200 countries. Our SCA Network, the nation’s first online community for survivors of sudden cardiac arrest and their loved ones—and those who have lost loved ones to SCA—has thousands of members and continues to grow steadily.
In addition, thanks to support from people like you, we have been able to:
- Create educational campaigns for secondary schools and colleges, including distribution of tens of thousands of educational booklets to school stakeholders and state legislatures
- Distribute AEDs to schools, youth sports teams, places of worship, and other organizations
- Conduct research on public awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and research among survivors and their families about post-resuscitation quality of life
- Conduct outreach through traditional and social media, garnering millions of placements and working with TV programs, such as PBS, to help raise awareness
- Testify before the FDA and the Institute of Medicine on behalf of patients and families affected by sudden cardiac arrest
- Conduct awards programs that recognize individuals who save lives and recognize creative educational messaging through videos
- Conduct healing workshops for survivors of cardiac arrest and their families.
What’s more, in the time since we launched the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation:
- 38% of Americans now report they have received CPR training
- 2.4 million AEDs have been distributed for use by laypersons in the U.S.
- 26 states have made CPR training a requirement for high school graduation
- AEDs are now required in new buildings and school sites in certain states
- The average survival rate from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (all heart rhythms) has increased from 7% to 12%. And when bystanders give CPR and use AEDs before EMS arrives, survival rates are 40% and higher.
The feedback we receive from the constituents we serve has been inspiring and rewarding. CPR instructors tell us that they regularly distribute our newsletters to their classes and refer students and policymakers to our website. Patients and families say we have helped them deal with the trauma of sudden cardiac arrest, that they have been able to find peer support through our online community, and that we have made them feel important and involved. Members of the media say that they appreciate having a go-to authoritative source for information on sudden cardiac arrest. Constituents from all walks of life say that our collection of survivor stories has motivated them to do more to help save lives in their communities.
As we enter our next decade, we invite you to support the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation 10th Anniversary Campaign by contributing at a level that is meaningful for you. To see our Giving Levels, visit www.sca-aware.org/donate.
There are several ways you can support our programs. To make a tax-deductible contribution, choose one of the options below:
- Donate online here. Monthly payment options are available. Consider donating $10/month, or $120/year.
- Send a check to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, 7500 Brooktree Road, Suite 207, Wexford, PA 15090.
- Consider a gift of stock. To donate stock, contact Lori Williams, PNC Bank, Wexford, PA, 724-935-5823.
- Donate through United Way of Pittsburgh (Account No. 9940420) or your local United Way.
Thank you for supporting our mission, “Raising awareness, saving lives.” Together, we can make survival from sudden cardiac arrest the rule, rather than the exception.
We wish you all the best this holiday season and in the New Year.
Bobby V. Khan, MD, PhD, Chairman, Board of Directors
Mary M. Newman, MS, President
“To save one life is as if to save the world.”