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Ontario Premier announces $650,000 commitment to ACT High School CPR Program. Ontario students to be empowered to save lives!

OTTAWA, December 10, 2004: — Ontario high schools will be equipped to empower students to save lives through a new partnership announced today between the Ontario Government and the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation. The partnership will see a commitment of $650,000 in funding from the Ontario government as part of a matching funding formula for CPR training mannequins for Ontario high schools. Details are being announced by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty at a press conference at 10:30 a.m., at Hillcrest High School, 1900 Dauphin Road in Ottawa.

The ACT Foundation launched the original high school CPR program with the support of community partners as a pilot in Ottawa in 1994. Based on the success of the Ottawa pilot, the CPR program was inserted into the curriculum within the context of secondary school reform in 1999. The ACT Foundation fundraised for mannequins bringing the program to half of Ontario high schools. Due to the tremendous demand for this program, the Ontario government has made a commitment of funds as part of a matching funding formula to help the ACT Foundation raise the remaining funds needed to expand the program to all Ontario high schools.

“After setting up the program in just over half of Ontario’s high schools, we still needed to raise $1.2 million for mannequins to bring the CPR program to those communities that don’t have the program,” says ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke. “This $650,000 commitment from the Ontario government will act as powerful leverage in our efforts to find matching funds at the community level throughout Ontario. It is a wonderful public/private partnership model that will propel this program forward.” Once implemented in all Ontario high schools, 155,000 Grade 9 students will be trained in the lifesaving skill of CPR every year.

Research indicates that CPR response by citizens can improve the out-of-hospital survival rate for cardiac arrest almost fourfold. With 85% of cardiac arrests occurring at home, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

“This program will empower kids with CPR as a life skill,” says Dr. Justin Maloney, Base Hospital Program Medical Director, Ottawa Hospital. “Not only will they learn how to do CPR, they will learn how to recognize a developing cardiac emergency, the importance of calling 911 quickly and how to assist while waiting for the paramedics. This is important information they will carry with them to their present and future familes.”

About the ACT Foundation The ACT Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to establishing CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program set-up. The foundation has already established the CPR program in over 700 high schools across Canada. By the end of the 2004-2005 school year, over 700,000 Canadian students will have been trained to date through this program.

The ACT Foundation’s corporate health partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca; Aventis Pharma Inc., a member of the sanofi-aventis Group; and Pfizer Canada. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the foundation’s national goal of empowering youth to save lives. In Ontario, Hydro One is a provincial funding partner and the Kiwanis service clubs play a key role as program partners at the community level. For more information visit: www.actfoundation.ca.