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CPR Program Launched in Laurentians High Schools

ST-JÉRÔME, QC, 22/02/07

Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation, in partnership with the Quebec Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sport, Ministry of Health and Social Services and Giant Tiger Stores Limited is launching the ACT High School CPR Program in the Laurentians. The launch will take place at 9:30 a.m. at Polyvalente St-Jérôme, 535 rue Filion, St-Jérôme.

The launch of the ACT High School CPR Program in this region will see over 2,000 students from nine area high schools empowered to save a life through CPR training. The schools span four school boards: Commission scolaire des Laurentides, Commission scolaire de Pierre-Neveu, Commission scolaire de la Rivière-du-Nord, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board. The communities reached through this implementation include Mont-Laurier, Mont-Tremblant, Ste-Agathe and St-Jérôme.

Full implementation of the program in the Laurentians will result in more than 6,000 students trained in CPR by their teachers each year.

The ACT High School CPR Program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support. The lead community-level partner in the Laurentians is Giant Tiger Stores Limited. With a donation of $48,000, this community retailer is playing a key role in helping implement the CPR Program in this region. “Giant Tiger is extremely proud to be sponsoring the ACT High School CPR Program in the region” says Charles Desjardins, Giant Tiger Franchise Owner. “Giving back to the communities we serve is an important part of our mission. This program will help save lives in our communities and will provide invaluable education and empowerment to our youth” he added. “We are very proud to be part of this important and meaningful project.”

The Quebec government is a provincial partner of the ACT High School CPR Program. “I am pleased to support the implementation in Québec of the High School CPR Training Program established by the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation of Canada,” says Philippe Couillard, Minister of Health and Social Services. “At a time when cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death, it is encouraging to know that more and more Québec residents will receive basic training in how to react in situations that could otherwise prove fatal.”

Also supporting the program at the provincial level are Sun Life Financial and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.

“We are thrilled with the support of ACT’s partners,” says ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke. “Without them, the Laurentians program would not be possible.”

Thanks to the support of ACT’s partners in the Laurentians, 350 CPR training mannequins have been donated to the nine area high schools and 23 physical education teachers have been trained as CPR Instructors.

To date, the ACT High School CPR Program has been implemented in over 135 Quebec high schools and approximately 50,000 students have been empowered to save lives. The ACT Foundation’s goal in Quebec is to expand the CPR Program to an additional 400 schools. To help make this possible, ACT has secured a commitment of $600,000 from the Quebec government through its public / private funding partnership.

Research indicates citizen CPR response can improve the survival rate for victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by almost fourfold. With eight in 10 cardiac arrests occurring at home, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is an award-winning, national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives. ACT is driving a national campaign to establish CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program set up. The Foundation has already established the CPR program in over 900 high schools across Canada and over 900,000 youth have been trained to date. The Foundation and its core partners are winners of Imagine Canada’s “New Spirit of Community Partnership” Award. Core partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering youth to save lives. For more information visit: www.actfoundation.ca.