SOURCE: ACT Foundation of Canada

ACT Foundation

December 13, 2017 11:57 ET

Governor General Presents Meritorious Service Cross for Empowering Teens to Save Lives

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - December 13, 2017) - Governor General Julie Payette presented the prestigious Governor General's Meritorious Service Cross to ACT Foundation Executive Director and Founder, Sandra Clarke, and ACT's Medical Director and Ottawa Hospital Emergency Physician, Dr. Justin Maloney at a Rideau Hall ceremony on December 12. The Award honours Ms. Clarke and Dr. Maloney for their ground-breaking establishment of the ACT (Advanced Coronary Treatment) High School CPR Program.

The Meritorious Service Cross recognizes extraordinary people for their innovative acts which set an example or model for others to follow and bring honour to Canada.

Since 1994, the ACT Foundation's High School CPR Program has empowered more than 3.9 million students across Canada with CPR training. With 6,700 high school teachers trained as instructors through 1,800 high schools across the country, the continuous sustainability of this program saves lives every day. The program empowers students to 'act' in response to a developing emergency health situation and encourages them to become champions for health in their families and communities.

In Canada, an estimated 40,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital each year. Nearly 88% of these incidents occur at home. "CPR is an essential life skill for all Canadians. The High School CPR program stands as tall as any other subject taught in our schools. Recognition from important leaders in Canada suggests they agree," states Dr. Justin Maloney, an Emergency Physician with the Ottawa Hospital for 38 years and ACT Foundation volunteer Medical Director.

Link to article on CPR rescue of a 17 year-old saving her little sister: http://actfoundation.ca/rescues/lydia-saves-her-five-year-old-sister-during-a-cardiac-arrest/

Link to the many student rescues: http://actfoundation.ca/act-rescues/stories/

"It is humbling and an honour to receive this award. We have made great strides with the dedicated support of staff, partners and the education system since we started the program," says Sandra Clarke, Executive Director and Founder of the ACT Foundation. "Looking ahead to 2018, we will continue to seek new support from partners to broaden the program. Our goal is to move ACT's High School CPR Program in to the realm of a national standard by our education system. This will ensure all Canadian youth are empowered with lifesaving training in CPR and the use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to dramatically increase the survival rate of cardiac arrest victims."

The ACT Foundation is an award-winning national charitable organization that is establishing the free CPR and AED program in Canadian high schools. The program is built on ACT's community-based model of partnerships and support, where ACT finds local partners who donate mannequins and AED training units that schools need to set up the program. High school teachers then teach CPR and how to use a defibrillator to their students, reaching all youth prior to graduation. ACT's health partners who are committed to bringing the program across Canada are AstraZeneca Canada, Sanofi Canada, and Amgen Canada.

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Contact Information

  • For further information and interview opportunities, please contact:
    Jennifer Edwards
    Operations Manager
    ACT Foundation
    act@actfoundation.ca
    Tel: 613-286-5260