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Andover Public Schools first in Kansas to be named Heart Safe School

Posted Date: 07/11/2019

Andover Public Schools first in Kansas to be named Heart Safe School

Andover Public Schools is the first district in the state to achieve Heart Safe School designation from Project ADAM.

Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam's Memory) is a national, non-profit organization committed to saving lives through advocacy, education, preparedness and collaboration to prevent sudden cardiac death. It was created by the parents of Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old high school student from Wisconsin who collapsed and died while playing basketball.

Kansas Project ADAM is an affiliate healthcare site through KU School of Medicine-Wichita Department of Pediatrics. Program coordinator for Kansas Project ADAM, Aaron Ryan, is the executive director of KU Wichita Medical Practice Association. He reached out to Brett White, superintendent of Andover Public Schools, about the designation.

“The staff and administration were very supportive of the program,” said Ryan. “This is another example of how they put their students first in everything they do.”

“Andover Public Schools is proud to partner with KU School of Medicine-Wichita and Project ADAM to achieve the Project ADAM Heart Safe School designation," said White. “The safety and health of our students, staff, parents and patrons is a cornerstone for creating an effective learning environment in our schools. We appreciate the resources and training provided to our district to ensure that we are prepared for a cardiac emergency.”

Ryan helped the schools establish an emergency plan that includes a cardiac response team and proper training in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest on their school campuses. The Project ADAM Heart Safe School designation is attained by schools upon successful implementation of a quality sudden cardiac arrest program of awareness, training and effective emergency response to promote a Heart Safe environment for students, visitors and staff as outlined within the Heart Safe School Checklist. Some of the requirements include having automated external defibrillators (AED) within 2-3 minutes of any part of the building or campus, a designated cardiac emergency response team of at least 10 percent of the staff, and annual training and drills.