FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
WALLINGFORD – In recognition of February as American Heart Month, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the American Heart Association proudly announce that Wallingford has been designated a HEARTSafe Community.
A celebration of Wallingford as a HEARTSafe community takes place today, Wednesday, February 13, 2008 in the Wallingford Town Council Chambers, Wallingford Town Hall, 45 South Main Street, Wallingford at 5:30 PM. Expected attendees include J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH, MBA, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Public Health; William Dickinson, Jr., Mayor, Town of Wallingford, and Joan Papale, heart health advocate.
“The HEARTSafe Communities program is designed to promote and recognize the efforts of local municipalities to provide improved cardiac response and care to its residents,” said DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H. “Wallingford has demonstrated its commitment toward ensuring that its residents and visitors receive the early lifesaving response proven to increase the chances of survival for heart attack victims.”
For Wallingford, the HEARTSafe designation has been the direct effort of local residents Joan Papale and Robert Hubener. Papale sprung to action as a result of her 18-year-old son, Michael, who, in August 2006, suffered sudden cardiac arrest after a workout.
Papale and Hubener approached Wallingford Health Director Eloise Hudd and Town Councilman Bob Parisi, who supported the development of a strategic plan to attract community and business partners to AED/CPR training, with a focus on the American Heart Association’s Chain of Survival. The Chain of Survival has four vital links: early access to emergency care; early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); early defibrillation and early advanced care.
Wallingford exceeded the program requirements for public placement of AEDs. Papale – a public school teacher – is especially proud that the town agreed to place them in all public schools.
With HEARTSafe launched, Wallingford’s new focus is on sustaining the HEARTSafe program.
“Our goal is to expand on existing opportunities and to continue to increase the public’s knowledge of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stoke” said Eloise Hudd.
Municipalities wishing to obtain designation as a HEARTSafe Community can download an application from the State Department of Public Health website at: http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3135&q=387024 or contact Gary St. Amand, Health Program Associate, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-509-7581.