Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, Heart Health Experts, and Elected Officials Highlight Importance of CPR/AED Training During American Heart Month

Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, Heart Health Experts, and Elected Officials Highlight Importance of CPR/AED Training During American Heart Month
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Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, Heart Health Experts, and Elected Officials Highlight Importance of CPR/AED Training During American Heart Month (Cook County, IL) — Today, 6th District Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller was joined by elected officials and heart health experts to speak about the importance of CPR/AED training in recognition of American Heart Month. The speakers highlighted the importance of learning CPR training and how to properly use the technique, as well as prioritizing cardiovascular health and wellness in Cook County, where heart disease is the leading cause of death The speaking program was followed by Commissioner Miller’s annual CPR/AED training for Cook County employees, an all-day training for individuals to learn how to perform life-saving intervention techniques in cardiovascular crises.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Illinois, and Cook County in particular has the highest incidence of death due to heart disease in the country. This issue also disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities, and it’s been my mission since I took office in 2019 to draw attention to it and help improve heart health outcomes in the County and beyond,” Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller says. “I’m grateful every year to have the chance to educate and equip Cook County employees and residents across the area with the tools they need so they know what to do in a cardiac emergency situation, and I appreciate all of those who joined me today to help share this important message!”

At the event, Commissioner Miller was joined by President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners Toni Preckwinkle, 1st District Cook County Commissioner Alma Anaya, Teri Campbell of Illinois Heart Rescue, Dr. Marlon Everett, a cardiologist with Aurora Advocate Health, a representative from Cook County Clerk Karen Yarborough’s office, as well as numerous other Cook County Commissioners.

“Over the last year, the importance of CPR training has really come to light with such high profile cases as Damar Hamlin in the NFL and Bronny James at USC. Fortunately, they both had good outcomes, but so many people don’t because of the lack of CPR training to the general public,” said Dr. Marlon Everett. “These situations underscore the importance of CPR training to a broader audience, including in the workplace and schools.”

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Throughout her time in office, Commissioner Miller has made it a priority to use her background in the healthcare industry to educate residents on the risks of cardiovascular disease, how to prevent it, and how to improve outcomes of cardiac events through CPR training. To help improve outcomes for those with heart disease, Commissioner Miller helped implement in-person CPR and AED training and virtual CPR and AED training for Cook County employees, an initiative that won a 2022 National Association of Counties Achievement Award. To date, hundreds of employees, along with elected officials and department heads, have taken part in the training, including the Cook County Board President and staff, members of the Board of Commissioners and staff, and executives and staff from agencies of separately elected officials and Cook County Health. This year, in addition to County employee training, Commissioner Miller also partnered up with four local fire stations throughout the 6th District to provide training to county residents.

Having CPR initiated by a bystander when someone is suffering from cardiac arrest can almost double or triple the chances of survival. CPR/AED training is particularly important for African American and Latino individuals, who are 30-50% less likely to have bystander CPR performed when suffering from a cardiac event than white adults. Women are also less likely to receive bystander CPR because people fear accusations of inappropriate touching or injuring the person. Only 39% of women receive bystander CPR in public compared to 45% of men, who have a 23% higher chance of surviving a cardiac event than women.

In 2022, Commissioner Miller released a report titled “Cardiovascular Health in the Southland,” which examined the impacts of location and race on cardiovascular disease survival and outcomes in suburban Cook County. The report found that overall, cardiovascular disease-related deaths occur more frequently in CCDPH’s South jurisdiction, which has a substantial Black population, compared to the Southwest jurisdiction, whose population is predominantly white. To increase access, Commissioner Miller’s office also made the report available in Spanish last year.

Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, Heart Health Experts, and Elected Officials Highlight Importance of CPR/AED Training During American Heart Month

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