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Is Your School HEART Safe?

by Jeanne R. on Friday, June 6, 2014

The Michigan Department of Community Health, the Michigan Department  of Education, the Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young and the American Heart Association recently awarded 40 Michigan schools with a three-year MI HEARTSafe School designation which recognizes schools that are prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies.  In addition to receiving a designation, being a MIHEART Safe School also brings the school into compliance with a new Michigan law P.A. 12 of 2014 that requires schools (grades kindergarten to 12) to have a cardiac emergency response plan in place by July 1, 2014. 

Sudden cardiac death of the young (SCDY) occurs when a young, apparently healthy person dies suddenly from a cardiac arrest or an unknown cause.  More than 300 Michigan children and young adults between the ages of 1-39 die annually from SCDY.  The MI HEARTSafe School Award Program was created to support school communities' efforts to prevent SCDY by screening athletes for inherited sudden cardiac arrest syndromes and increasing awareness of how to recognize the signs of a sudden cardiac arrest and respond quickly.  In order for a school to receive an MI HEARTSafe designation, it must perform at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year; have a written medical emergency response plan and team; have current CPR/AED certification of at least 10 percent of staff; have accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs with signs identifying their location; and ensure pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes.

A complete listing of the 40 schools awarded  MIHEART Safe School designations can be found in the MDCH Press Release  To learn more about the MIHEART Safe School program visit











(From left to right:  Kyle Guerrant, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, a representative accepting the award on behalf of Kent Vocational School, and Jim Haveman, Director, Michigan Department of Community Health).

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Comments (1)

  • I do agree that this is an accomplishment but I'm very sadden when I look at the listing of school's to receive this award and learning tool's when the Jackson Public Schools aren't apart especially when they had a student pass from this same occurrence. And goes to show how much my work is needed in our community.

    Because of the awareness now and I thank you for this information because I now in turn will share with the Jackson Public School District.

    Thank You again,

    Debra L. Green

    — Debra G.

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