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Wegmans donates 16 American Heart Association CPR kits to the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association

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COLUMBIA, Md., April 5, 2024 – The American Heart Association, the global leader in resuscitation science and education, and Wegmans are adding lifesavers to the chain of survival by providing hands-only CPR training resources in the community.

On Friday, the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association received 16 CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports™ training kits courtesy of Wegmans at the grocer's Columbia location.

These training kits are designed for youth coaches to ensure they and their community know the life-saving skills of CPR, how to use an AED, and how to respond to sports-related emergencies. Each kit can be used to train around 300 people per year.

“When a person – including a young athlete – suffers a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, too often they don't get the help they need to survive,” said Tracy Brazelton, executive director of the American Heart Association, Baltimore and Greater Maryland Division. “Knowing how to respond and staying safe during a cardiac emergency can literally mean the difference between life and death.”

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals each year. In addition, more than 23,000 children suffer cardiac arrest each year, with almost 40% of these occurring in connection with sports activities. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple the chance of surviving cardiac arrest.

This donation is part of a larger commitment by Wegmans and the American Heart Association to distribute 300 CPR and first aid training kits for youth sports in the nine states where Wegmans stores are located, including Maryland.

“At Wegmans, we are committed to improving the physical, emotional and mental health of our communities,” said Ayana Douglas, division chief, Wegmans Maryland. “We have sponsored youth sports programs for years because they play an important role in providing positive activities for children while promoting social and personal development, physical and mental health, and their ability to bring communities together.

“Through this collaboration, we expand the support we give to organizations like MSYSA, not only helping to keep youth sports accessible in our communities, but also providing the knowledge and training to keep our young athletes safe.” said Douglas.

MSYSA Executive Director Greg Smith thanked Wegmans and the American Heart Association for providing the CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports Training Kits to the local soccer community.

“We look forward to working with our amazing partner clubs over the coming months to train thousands of people with these kits, adding vital lifesavers to the local chain of survival,” said Smith.

The American Heart Association is working to increase the number of bystanders who administer CPR in an emergency.

“Thanks to Wegmans’ support, we are expanding the reach of our Nation of Lifesavers and giving Maryland State Youth Soccer Association members the skills they need to respond in the event of a cardiac arrest,” Brazelton said.

For more information about this initiative, visit heart.org/WegmansCPR and go to heart.org/nation to learn more about Nation of Lifesavers™ and Hands-Only CPR.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a tireless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are committed to ensuring equitable health in all communities. By collaborating with numerous organizations and supporting millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public's health and share life-saving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. In 2024 – our anniversary year – we will celebrate our rich 100-year history and successes. As we move forward into our second century of bold discovery and impact, our vision is to promote health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For media inquiries:

Wayne Carter: [email protected]

For public inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and Stroke.org