FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  Connecticut Department of Public Health

December 15, 2009                                        Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                       (860) 509-7270 


Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) announces that the American Heart Association facility in Wallingford has been designated a HEARTSafe Workplace.


“The HEARTSafe Workplace program is designed to promote and recognize the efforts of workplaces to provide improved cardiac response and care to its employees and visitors,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin.  “The American Heart Association has demonstrated its commitment toward ensuring that people in its workplace receive early life saving response proven to increase the chances of survival for heart attack victims.”


“The American Heart Association is very proud to be the first workplace in the state to receive this designation,” said Kristin DeCapua, Director of Business Operations for the American Heart Association’s Connecticut office.  “Our comprehensive workplace cardiac emergency response plan is truly an extension of our mission.  We work every day to educate our community about the critical importance of building a strong Chain of Survival.  Furthermore, this honor is a testament to the staff in our Wallingford office because nearly everyone is CPR-certified, trained in the use of AED and has a role in the emergency response plan.”


Recognizing that people spend the majority of their lives in their workplace, the DPH began the HEARTSafe Workplace program to foster environments that improve the survival odds for people suffering sudden cardiac events, such as cardiac arrests or heart attacks.  The key to the program has been dubbed by the American Heart Association as the Chain of Survival.  The Chain of Survival has four vital links:  early access to emergency care; early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); early defibrillation with automated external defibrillators (AEDs); and early advanced care. 


A HEARTSafe Workplace promotes and supports: CPR/AED training for a minimum of 10% of staff; public access to defibrillation through strategic placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs); health promotion activities and events for employees; and a written emergency action plan.  It is a three-year designation.


Workplaces can include privates businesses, educational institutions, non-profit agencies, government agencies, faith based organizations, etc.


More information regarding the HEARTSafe Workplace can be downloaded from the State Department of Public Health website at: or by contacting Gary St. Amand, Health Program Associate, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at or 860-509-7581.


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.  To contact the department, please visit its website at  or call (860) 509-7270.