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IQALUIT, 10/04/03

Iqaluit – Thursday, April 10th, 2003 at 3:00 p.m., Inuksuk High School — Today, the ACT Foundation and community partners launch the ACT High School CPR Program in Iqaluit. This initiative will result in all Grade 10 students from Inuksuk High School being empowered to save lives with CPR training and first aid skills. The CPR course will be taught to one hundred Grade 10 students by their physical education teacher every year.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn additional, possibly life saving skills. Training such as this can spark interest in other areas as well as helping to develop greater self esteem and confidence,” says Manitok Thompson, Minister of Education for the Government of Nunavut.

Community partnership is key to the success of the ACT High School CPR Program. In order to launch this lifesaving program in Iqaluit, the Tahera Corporation is donating a class set of 25 mannequins to Inuksuk High School and is sponsoring the teacher training, which is being provided by St. John Ambulance. Printing of the Student Manuals is being donated by Ayaya Marketing and Communications. First Air and the Frobisher Inn are also providing program support.

“I am happy to take part in bringing together all the parties for this course to happen in Iqaluit and I look forward to the ACT High School CPR Program being taught across Nunavut,” says Nancy Karetak-Lindell, Member of Parliament for Nunavut. “This is a great course and I thank the students for taking the time to learn these lifesaving skills. I also want to thank the generous sponsors who understood the importance of this course and made it possible.”

Through the ACT High School CPR Program, students will be prepared to help a parent or grandparent should they experience a heart attack, a brother, sister or child they are babysitting should they choke, or a friend involved in a drowning emergency. They will also learn some basic first aid skills for injuries.

“What a great initiative. I am especially pleased to see this is a long-term program and not just a one-time occurrence,” says Dr. Muirhead, a physician at the Baffin Regional Hospital. Beyond the obvious benefits of this program, it will broaden the students’ horizons and, for some, it will stimulate their interest in health care as a career choice.”

Inuksuk High School is eager to begin the program.

“We are delighted to be a partner in this program,” says Greg Taaffe, vice principal at Baffin Regional Hospital. “We will be offering it through Physical Education 10, which is compulsory for graduation. Therefore, every student will have the opportunity to be trained in CPR and First Aid. We would like to thank the ACT Foundation and its partners for making this happen.”

The ACT Foundation is thrilled to be launching the ACT High School CPR Program in Iqaluit, the first of its kind in Nunavut.

“We are very excited about the enthusiastic response of all local partners in this program. The school has embraced the program and our community partners came forth without hesitation to donate the necessary resources,” says Sandra Clarke, Executive Director of the ACT Foundation. “The ACT Foundation looks forward to bringing this lifesaving initiative to other communities throughout Nunavut with the support of community partners.”

The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to establishing CPR as required learning in every Canadian high school. ACT works in partnership with health professionals, service clubs, government and the community to help school boards establish the program. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins and resources needed by schools. The ACT High School CPR Program already exists in 500 high schools in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. ACT’s corporate health partners are committed to ACT’s cross-Canada expansion of this lifesaving program. They are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharma, Pfizer Canada and Pharmacia Canada.