Contact: Holly Botsford, 414.688.7960(c), 414.955.8761(o)

Milwaukee, February 16, 2017 – As the nation recognizes American Heart Month, the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment is providing a milestone update on a program to train high school students in life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). To date, 800 students and 172 teachers have received hands-on CPR instruction through the statewide program.

Launched on July 1, 2016, the program is a collaboration between the Cooperative Educational Services Agency (CESA 7), the American Heart Association, and E. Brooke Lerner, Ph.D. of the Medical College of Wisconsin Emergency Medicine Department, with funding from the AHW Endowment. At the outset, the program aimed to bring a robust CPR training curriculum to a minimum of 350 schools across the state. The program provides teacher training and equipment to ensure annual CPR education with state-of-the-art training materials and hands-on practice. Schools are encouraged to invite community-based speakers to offer firsthand testimony on the importance and value of CPR knowledge.

  • According to the American Heart Association, CPR, if performed immediately can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.
  • On April 26, 2016, Governor Scott Walker signed a bill requiring CPR training in every health course offered between seventh and 12thgrade.
  • To date, the program has trained more than 170 teachers representing more than 110 schools statewide, and those teachers have trained more than 800 students. This number grows daily.
  • The program is open to all schools; public, private and charter schools.
  • CPR training kits are provided to schools on a sliding fee scale, depending on the school’s free lunch rate. The cost of a full-price kit is $649. For schools with more than 50 percent of students enrolled in free lunches, the kits are free. For schools with 30 to 50 percent of students receiving free and reduced lunches, the kits are available for $100. The kits can be used repeatedly.
  • The training kits includes: A carry bag, inflatable manikins, kneel mats, training DVDs, AED (automated external defibrillator)  training stimulators, a facilitator binder with lesson plan, pre- and post-knowledge test material, and a facilitator guide, and more.
  • The “Preparing the Community to Improve the Odds of Cardiac Arrest Survival” program is funded by AHW for the period of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018, in the amount of $491,269.
  • The project was funded by AHW because it meets the Endowment’s expectations of a systems change that will advance health.
  • Schools interested in participating in the program can contact Kelli Mincheski – CPR in Schools Coordinator,  CESA 7, 595 Baeten Road  Green Bay, WI, (920) 617-5616.

The AHW Endowment resides at the Medical College of Wisconsin with a mission to improve the health of residents statewide. Two years ago, the Endowment shifted its focus from “grantmaking to changemaking,” meaning that the Endowment encourages projects that bring about sustainable, positive change by rethinking the way things are done to improve health. AHW also actively seeks to create and foster effective collaborations, and connect community knowledge to academic medicine expertise via partnerships with MCW faculty members.

More information about the MCW School of Medicine’s AHW Endowment funded projects can be found at

About the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment

The MCW School of Medicine’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment works to catalyze health improvement in Wisconsin and was created by funds generated from Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin’s conversion to a for-profit corporation. The Endowment’s Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program funded the new awards as part of its continued work supporting partnerships between academics and community health and non-profit organizations for urban, rural and statewide health improvement projects in Wisconsin. Since 2004, the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment has invested almost $200 million in more than 300 research, education and community health initiatives. More information on individual projects is available online:

About the Medical College of Wisconsin

The Medical College of Wisconsin is the state’s only private medical school and health sciences graduate school.  Founded in 1893, it is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and community engagement.  More than 1,200 students are enrolled in MCW’s medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, and 26 medical students are enrolled at MCW-Green Bay.  A regional medical education campus is scheduled to open in Central Wisconsin in 2016.   MCW’s School of Pharmacy will open in 2017 or 2018 with an initial class size of 60 students.  A major national research center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin.  In FY 2014-15, faculty received approximately $158 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes, of which approximately $139 million is for research.  This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,200 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,500 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 525,000 patients annually.

About CESA 7

For over 100 years, school districts in Wisconsin counties were serviced by county superintendents. As school district reorganization developed and school districts became larger, the role of the county superintendent changed substantially. The 1963 Legislature and various school organizations studied the pattern of Wisconsin school organization and concluded that the county superintendency should be replaced with Cooperative Educational Service Agencies. The function of the Cooperative Educational Service Agencies is clearly defined in Section 116.01 of the State Statutes. The organization of school districts in Wisconsin is such that the legislature recognizes the need for a service unit between the school district and the State Superintendent. The Cooperative Educational Service Agencies may provide leadership and coordination of services for school districts, including such programs as curriculum development assistance; school district management development; coordination of vocational education; and exceptional education, research, special student classes, human growth and development, data collection processing and dissemination, and in-service programs. Learn more about CESA7 at

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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