Independence Blue Cross Foundation Launches Initiative Targeting Heart Disease
New “Healthy Hearts” initiative aims to improve survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest, increase CPR preparedness
Philadelphia, PA — November 17, 2016 — The Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) today launched the Healthy Hearts Initiative (Healthy Hearts), an effort that aims to increase the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest and address disparities in cardiovascular health in underserved populations across southeastern Pennsylvania. Through Healthy Hearts, the Foundation will support a variety of prevention strategies, such as heart screenings and CPR training.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for one in every four deaths. The condition is compounded by the fact that about 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency, citing either an inability to properly administer CPR or a fear of hurting the victims, studies have found. In Philadelphia, just 20.3 percent of people in cardiac arrest received CPR from a bystander in 2015 – half of the national average (40.6 percent). Effective CPR provided immediately after cardiac arrest doubles a victim’s chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
“Heart health is a major issue nationwide, but particularly here in Philadelphia,” Foundation President Lorina Marshall-Blake said. “As a leader in community health, we want to empower community members through education and training to respond effectively in emergency situations. Through our efforts we want to dramatically increase the number of people in this region who have the knowledge and resources to save lives.”
As part of its Healthy Hearts commitment, the Foundation is supporting the following efforts:
- CPR Ready Campaign: Launched by the Philadelphia Regional CPR Awareness Coalition, the campaign is designed to increase the number of people in the region who are qualified and willing to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) and perform bystander hands-only CPR. In Philadelphia, more than 1,100 people died of cardiac arrest last year, according to the AHA.
- Mobile CPR Project: Launched by Penn Medicine, this project seeks to eliminate cost and logistical barriers by mobilizing CPR training to make it more accessible to underserved communities.
- Simon’s Fund: The organization provides free heart screenings to children, advocates for life-saving legislation, hosts awareness events and promotes research.
About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation:
The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is a charitable, private foundation, whose mission is leading solutions for a healthier community. The Foundation targets the following areas of impact:
- Securing the Blue Safety Net: Achieving sustainability of the regional safety net by building capacity in health centers.
- Bolstering the Health Care Workforce: Advancing the education and professional development of nurses and nurse leaders.
- Addressing Health Priorities: Addressing national health trends locally through community-driven research.
- Building Healthier Communities: Driving wellness by targeting specific and diverse community health needs.
Independence Blue Cross