Idaho 7th graders to learn CPR in school, teach friends and family

Regence BlueShield of Idaho donates $100,000 to American Heart Association for “Have a Heart, Save a Life” program

BOISE – About every 25 seconds an American goes into cardiac arrest, and every minute someone dies from it. Many of these lives could have been saved if more people knew cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) – especially in rural areas where emergency medical services can take longer to arrive. Unfortunately, just 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from someone around them.

To save lives and help nearly 20,000 more Idahoans learn CPR, Regence BlueShield of Idaho has committed $100,000 to the American Heart Association in Idaho (AHA) to teach CPR in schools and support the mission of the AHA. Through the “Have a Heart, Save a Life” program, the AHA will provide CPR training kits to more than 3,200 seventh grade students and teachers across Idaho. Once the students have learned CPR, their homework will be to take the kit home and teach CPR to at least five relatives and friends.  

“The potential impact of this program is really amazing,” said Scott Kreiling, Regence BlueShield of Idaho president. “Quite simply, CPR is a life-saving skill. Like ‘stop, drop and roll’ or knowing how to call 911 in an emergency – it’s something everyone should learn.”

The training kits enable users to learn CPR basics in just 20 minutes. Each kit includes:

  • Inflatable Mini Anne® CPR personal manikin that clicks when you’ve pressed hard enough
  • “Family & Friends CPR Anytime” instructional DVD (bilingual – English/Spanish)
  • Skills reminder card to carry in purse or wallet for reference (bilingual – English/Spanish)
  • Disinfectant wipes to clean manikin after use

“We are thrilled to work with Regence to bring this life-saving skill to children in our community,” said Jessica Budzianowski, American Heart Association executive director – Treasure Valley Division. “Sadly, 70 percent of Americans don’t know CPR or their training has lapsed. This alarming statistic hits even closer to home, as home is where 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur. By working with Regence, we will be able to ensure that more families recognize the signs of a heart attack and are prepared to act.”

With Regence’s support, the AHA will implement the program in a number of schools, targeting rural communities with longer emergency medical services response times. The AHA will also partner with local emergency medical personnel to help conduct the in-school trainings.

About Regence BlueShield of Idaho
Regence BlueShield of Idaho is a leading health plan in Idaho with about 160,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence BlueShield of Idaho is a nonprofit mutual insurance company and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence BlueShield of Idaho is affiliated with Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Together, the companies serve more than two million members in the Northwest/Intermountain Region. The Regence affiliated companies are committed to improving the health of its members and communities and to transforming the health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or www.twitter.com/RegenceIdaho.

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 heart.org  or call any of our offices around the country.