Health and Family Services Cabinet
Clark County Is Selected as a HeartSafe Community
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) announced today that Clark County is the next Kentucky county to earn the designation HeartSafe Community, an honor set aside for communities that have met criteria to better respond to cardiac arrests. Clark County joins Ashland-Boyd, Jefferson, McCracken, Shelby and Warren, counties on the growing list of communities working to be healthier and safer places to live.
“Heart disease affects the lives of many Kentuckians so it is imperative that we work together to make our state HeartSafe,” said DPH Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield, M.D. “We must be prepared to respond to cardiac arrest. I commend the citizens of Clark County for recognizing the seriousness of this public health issue and taking the necessary steps to become a HeartSafe Community.”
The HeartSafe Community program was launched in summer 2011 by the Kentucky Public Health Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program to help communities improve the chances that anyone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest will have the best possible chance for survival. Public Health is collaborating with the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS) and the American Heart Association on the project.
HeartSafe communities meet a combination of factors viewed as preferable in a community’s ability to recognize and respond to cardiac arrest. These factors include:
− Early access to emergency care in which bystanders recognize the symptoms of cardiac arrest and immediately call 911.
− Early CPR, a simple, easily learned emergency procedure used when someone's breathing and heartbeat suddenly stop.
− Early defibrillation, the delivery of electric shock to restore the heart's normal rhythm.
− Early advanced care delivered by a response vehicle staffed by advanced life support personnel.
City of Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner and Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham issued a joint statement regarding Clark County’s selection as a HeartSafe Community.
“We are most pleased to join Gov. Steve Beshear in this important milestone for the community of Winchester and Clark County. Being a HeartSafe Community clearly states to the balance of the Commonwealth and beyond that we are serious about cardiac health and effective responses when there is a cardiac arrest in our community. It is one more indication that we are serious about partnering with the Commonwealth of Kentucky to have a safer and healthier community.”
“By becoming HeartSafe, communities are showing they are willing to go the extra mile to ensure the health and well-being of their citizens,” said Bonita Bobo, manager for the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program. “We congratulate the citizens of Clark County for their commitment to health.”
Approximately 4,600 Kentucky residents die each year due to cardiac arrest that occurs out of the hospital, away from advanced medical assistance. Typically, these events happen in the presence of a family member or friend.
The HeartSafe Community program focuses on strengthening links within the community that contribute to the likelihood of survival of cardiac arrest.
To become a HeartSafe Community, applicants must review criteria for the program, complete an application, and mail or fax the application to DPH. The recognition is valid for a period of three years and is renewable through the application process.
Communities must apply to be HeartSafe through the DPH Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program. Applications are available at http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/dpqi/cd/cardiovascular.htm or by calling (502) 564-7996.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.