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For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Tim Burke, 651-241-8934, 651-775-6637 mobile/weekends


New Brighton first city to earn Heart Safe Community designation

NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. 11/09/2009--Allina Hospitals & Clinics awarded the City of New Brighton the Heart Safe Community designation at this evening's city council meeting. New Brighton is the first Minnesota city to earn this designation.

Heart Safe Community designation recognizes the city's efforts to prepare its staff and citizens to recognize when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest and how to respond.

"New Brighton is a leader in Minnesota making their city Heart Safe," said Allina Medical Transportation president, Brian LaCroix. "Early on, they lead the way equipping their public safety vehicles with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and training their staff in CPR and how to use AEDs. New Brighton is providing a heart healthy environment for people who live, work and play here. They are truly a model for others."

The Heart Safe Community designation is awarded to communities that apply for the designation and meet four criteria related to their ability to recognize and care for sudden cardiac arrest victims:

In addition to equipping city vehicles with AEDs and training their staff in CPR, New Brighton has taken the initiative to make CPR and AED training available to its citizens.

A key element to survival of sudden cardiac arrest is early recognition and the start of CPR, followed by a prompt call to 9-1-1, the availability of an AED to restart the heart, and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel trained in sudden cardiac arrest care.

"We are grateful that Allina has been a partner with New Brighton helping us make our community Heart Safe," said New Brighton city council member Sharon Doffing. "We've learned from experience that being prepared with the proper training and AEDs does save lives. It's happened in our city already. Having more people trained, city staff and citizens, will save more lives."

What is sudden cardiac arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest, sometimes known as a massive heart attack, is a top killer that can strike anyone, anywhere, without warning.

"More than 350,000 people in the U.S. suffer a sudden cardiac arrest every year, but only one in 20 survives," said Charles Lick, MD, medical director for Allina Medical Transportation, the ambulance service that serves New Brighton. "We think we can increase those odds to one in three -- and cities like New Brighton are the key to making that happen."

About Heart Safe Communities

Heart Safe Communities is a community service program of Allina Hospitals & Clinics started through the leadership of Charles Lick, MD, Allina Medical Transportation medical director and emergency room physician at Buffalo Hospital in Buffalo, Minnesota.

Allina's Heart Safe Communities is an effort to prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest by placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) wherever people live, work and play. It helps communities and organizations educate citizens about sudden cardiac arrest and improving heart health, raises money to place AEDs with of emergency medical service, fire and police personnel, works to make AEDs available in businesses, schools and other public gathering places, and to train people how to use AEDs.

If you would like more information about CPR or AEDs or becoming a Heart Safe Community visit

About Allina Hospitals & Clinics

Allina Hospitals & Clinics is a not-for-profit system of hospitals, clinics and other health care services, providing care throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Allina owns and operates 11 hospitals, more than 90 clinics, and health care services, including home care, hospice and palliative care, oxygen and medical equipment, pharmacies and emergency medical transportation. More about Allina and the latest health information can be found online at

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