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SUDBURY, ON, 15/12/06

Today, the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation, in partnership with the Ontario government and other key provincial and community partners, is launching the ACT High School CPR Program in Sudbury. The launch will take place at 11:30 a.m. at Marymount Academy, 165 D’Youville St. The Conseil scolaire de district du Grand Nord de l’Ontario, Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Nouvel-Ontario, Rainbow District School Board and Sudbury Catholic District School Board are embracing this award-winning program. Twenty-six hundred (2,600) Grade 9 students from 31 high schools will be empowered to save lives every year thanks to this initiative and will take their lifesaving skills to their communities, which include: Chelmsford, Elliot Lake, Espanola, Garson, Hanmer, Lively, Longlac, Manitouwadge, Marathon, Noëlville, Sudbury, Valcaron, Wawa and West Bay.

“I fully support the Sudbury High School CPR Program because it teaches students a life-saving skill. They learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and it also may help prevent heart disease in the future in our community,” says Dr. Robert Lepage, Emergency Physician of the Sudbury Regional Hospital and Medical Director for the ACT High School CPR Program. “Sudbury has one of the highest incidences of heart disease in Canada. If we can teach high school students that choosing not to smoke, exercising and eating a healthy diet will reduce heart disease, fewer people in Sudbury will be affected by this disease in 15 to 20 years.”

Research indicates citizen CPR response can improve survival rate for victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by almost fourfold. With eight in 10 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.

The Ontario government is a major partner of this initiative. “Providing local students with practical knowledge on how to save lives will certainly pay big dividends to all residents of Greater Sudbury,” says Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines. “Not only will Grade 9 students in our area learn to apply life-saving techniques, but they will also learn to recognize and prevent the risks associated with coronary heart disease. I am pleased that the Ontario government has partnered with the ACT Foundation, and look forward to the success of this initiative.”

The ACT High School CPR Program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support says Sandra Clarke, ACT Foundation Executive Director. “We are thrilled with the support of ACT’s partners. Without them, the Sudbury program would not be possible,” says Clarke.

Through the ACT Foundation’s public / private funding partnership model, 580 CPR training mannequins have been donated to the 31 Sudbury-area high schools and 71 physical education teachers have been trained as CPR Instructors. Lead community partners in Sudbury are Inco Limited, the Sudbury Regional Hospital Emergency Physicians, and Tracks and Wheels. In addition to program funds from the Ontario government, the ACT Foundation has also received provincial-level funding for the program from Hydro One, The Ontario Trillium Foundation and Shoppers Drug Mart.

The ACT Foundation’s goal in Ontario is to expand the CPR program to the remaining 40 per cent of high schools that do not yet have the program. To help make this possible, ACT has secured a commitment of $650,000 from the Ontario government through its public / private funding partnership. To date, the ACT High School CPR Program is in over 400 Ontario high schools and about 600,000 Ontario students have been empowered to save lives.

About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is a national, award-winning, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting health and empowering Canadians to save lives. ACT is driving a national campaign to establish 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 900 high schools across Canada and over 900,000 youth have been trained to date. The Foundation and its core partners are winners of Imagine Canada’s “New Spirit of Community Partnership” Award. Core partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. They provide ACT’s sustaining funding and are committed to the Foundation’s national goal of promoting health and empowering youth to save lives. For more information visit: