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Mississauga, ON, May 12, 2014 – Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation announced its new campaign – Skills 4 Life: Empowering Peel-Halton Students with Life-Saving CPR and Defibrillator Skills – which aims to raise $350,000 in the Peel-Halton region. The goal? Providing more than 18,000 high school students each year with life-saving Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) skills before they graduate.

“Each and every day, many Canadians experience a cardiovascular event. These events can happen anywhere, at any time and immediate response is critical,” said Sandra Clarke, ACT Foundation Executive Director. “Our goal is to empower youth with life-saving skills, so that they can take charge and help in an emergency.”

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, early CPR combined with early defibrillation can increase survival rates for cardiac arrest victims by up to 75 per cent.

“I am a long-time advocate of citizen CPR and defibrillation training,” says campaign co-chair Dr. Dave Williams. “From my university student days as a CPR Instructor, to leading the implementation of an AED program at NASA and taking the first defibrillator into space as an astronaut, I am very proud as President and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre to play a key role in supporting this exciting program for our schools and youth.”

Skills 4 Life: Empowering Peel-Halton Students with Life-Saving CPR and Defibrillator Skills

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that provides free CPR and AED programs to Canadian high schools, with over 2.6 million students trained to date through ACT’s innovative High School CPR Program. It relies on partners and program funders for financial and leadership support.

“With the support of ACT’s partners we have been able to integrate this life-saving program in over 1,600 high schools across Canada, but we aren’t finished yet,” said Clarke. “Our new campaign – Skills 4 Life – aims to set up the program in 70 schools in the Peel-Halton region.”

A founding partner of the ACT program, AstraZeneca Canada has pledged $50,000 in support of the ACT’s new campaign, and is working with the Foundation to help it reach its goal. The Skills 4 Life campaign kicks-off today, May 12, 2014, and will run for 90 days, with a goal of fundraising $350,000 before the start of the 2014/2015 school year. The funding is needed to provide schools with mannequins, AED training units, and teacher training as CPR and AED Instructors, enabling them to deliver the program to students each year.

“As a founding partner, we’re proud to have worked with the ACT Foundation right from the outset of its high school CPR program. We believe in its mission to empower youth with the skills and knowledge to save lives,” said Elaine Campbell, President, AstraZeneca Canada. “At AstraZeneca, we also believe we have an important role to play in helping to build strong, healthy communities by supporting organizations like the ACT Foundation. We are encouraging other businesses across the Peel-Halton Region to help make a difference too, by supporting Skills 4 Life.”

National High School CPR and Defibrillator Program

  • More than 2.6 million Canadian youth in over 1,600 schools across the country have been trained through the ACT High School CPR Program. ACT is now adding defibrillation as an enhancement to the CPR Program already in place in these schools.
  • Over 6,000 teachers in Canada are trained as CPR instructors and ACT has already donated more than 50,000 mannequins to high schools, ensuring 1:1 mannequin / student ratio.

“We have received hundreds of stories where youth have reacted quickly and taken the right steps to save lives,” said Clarke. “These are incredibly moving stories of youth who have saved their mother or father, a sister or brother, or even a complete stranger.”

About the ACT Foundation

The ACT Foundation is the national charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and AED programs in Canadian high schools. The program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners who donate the mannequins, AED training units, and teacher training that schools need to set up the program. High school teachers then teach CPR and how to use a defibrillator to their students as a regular part of the curriculum, reaching all youth prior to graduation. In Ontario, ACT is working in partnership with the Ontario government. ACT’s health partners who are committed to bringing the program to the Peel-Halton region and to high schools across Canada are AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and Sanofi.

About AstraZeneca Canada’s Partnership with ACT

As a founding partner of the ACT Foundation, AstraZeneca has committed more than $2 million since the Foundation’s inception in 1985 as a core and sustaining partner. The company’s important commitment is further reflected in its role as a board member of the Foundation. Along with the Foundation’s national health partners Sanofi and Pfizer Canada, AstraZeneca continues to honour its commitment to ACT’s efforts across Canada through financial support and ongoing guidance.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. The company’s Canadian headquarters are located in Mississauga, Ontario.

As part of AstraZeneca’s commitment to improving the health and quality of life of Canadians, the company collaborates with community-based organizations in three key areas – to stimulate an interest in science among Canadian youth, strengthen capabilities and capacity within our healthcare system, and improve the mental and emotional well-being of disconnected and vulnerable youth ages 10 to 19 through AstraZeneca’s Young Health Program. For more information on AstraZeneca please visit: