For nearly a year, the American Heart Association has been working with the Miami-Dade County School District to ensure all high school students learn Hands-Only CPR™ prior to graduation.
Miami Dade Schools is an authorized American Heart Association ECC Training Center and has a long standing relationship with the association. Dr. Jayne Greenberg, member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, is the District Director of Physical Education and Health Literacy for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and has been the main point of contact for this initiative. In January 2016 Dr. Greenberg submitted the Wellness Policy change to the school board for review, but it was not added to the school board agenda due to issues with some of the physical education components and was pushed to a vote in June 2016.
In the six months leading to the school board vote, American Heart Association staff worked closely with Dr. Greenberg on requests that could help provide more equipment to support this mandate if passed. We submitted for bequest funds and were granted funds to purchase 10 additional CPR in Schools Kits™ for the school district. To date the association has provided 83 American Heart Association CPR in Schools Kits™ to Miami Dade County schools. The CPR in Schools Training Kits will train an estimated 20,000 students annually.
In April we began to leverage our volunteer relationships. A member of our South Florida Board of Directors and American Heart Association volunteer, former Congressman Kendrick Meek, met with Miami-Dade School Board member Vice Chair Dr. Bendross-Mindingall. The Congressman masterfully laid out a strategy where the Vice Chair could make it a signature issue at the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and how she might be able to connect with Minority (Democratic) Leader Senator Oscar Braynon to create some real traction in the State Legislature. All parties left the meeting excited about the upcoming vote in June.
On June 22, 2016 the final reading of the proposed amendments to the Board’s Policy 8510, Wellness Policy was voted on and passed with consent. The new policy which will include the psychomotor skills used in Hands Only CPR/AED training went to effective immediately after the policy passed.
Thank you to Miami Dade Schools and our volunteers for helping to train the next generation of lifesavers in Miami Dade.