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Press Release


Media Contact: Cheryl Monkhouse
(404) 842-8516
cheryl.monkhouse@bcbsga.com

American Heart Association, Actress Jennifer Coolidge Take 60 Seconds to Keep Atlanta Residents “Stayin’ Alive” with Hands-Only CPR

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation Supports National CPR Education Initiative to Save Lives

(ATLANTA, JUNE 15, 2012) – Remember disco? The American Heart Association and comedic actress Jennifer Coolidge are pumping new life into the 70s disco classic to help save lives with Hands-Only CPR. 

Coolidge stars in a funny new public service announcement (http://youtu.be/CBMLZiLcqs0) for the American Heart Association that uses the Bee Gees’ hit “Stayin’ Alive” to teach lifesaving Hands-Only™ CPR (no breaths, just chest compressions). The song has more than 100 beats per minute, the near-perfect rate at which you should push on the chest during CPR.  This PSA accompanies the American Heart Association’s nationwide Hands-Only CPR awareness campaign and tour supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa)’s parent company’s Foundation.  The tour, making stops at Atlanta’s Atlantic Station (June 21) and Centennial Olympic Park (June 23), will bring this easy to learn CPR method to the public through 15-minute classes held in two of Atlanta’s most high-traffic areas. 

Nearly 400,000 Americans suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest every year, and almost 90 percent of them die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. When begun immediately, CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. 

“People feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rhythm when trained to the beat of ‘Stayin’ Alive,’” said Metro Atlanta American Heart Association Vice President Michael Privette. “Not only is it a fun, catchy and memorable way to remember what to do, but it works – people’s lives have been saved because of it.”

Coolidge, whose work includes CBS’ “Two Broke Girls” and numerous films such as “Best in Show”, “American Pie” and “Legally Blonde”, stars in the American Heart Association’s humorous new public service announcement (http://youtu.be/CBMLZiLcqs0) to teach everyone the two easy steps of Hands-Only CPR. If a teen or adult suddenly collapses, call 9-1-1 and then push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” until help arrives. 

“It seems almost impossible to me that the whole world doesn’t know CPR. I learned Hands-Only CPR while shooting the American Heart Association’s new PSA, and now I know how to save a life,” said Coolidge. “Who would’ve thought? I can save a life!”

For the first time ever, the American Heart Association has embarked on a nationwide tour in which a state-of-the-art mobile CPR training unit and certified trainers will visit cities to create “Stayin’ Alive” Hands-Only CPR training experiences for thousands of people. The tour will visit eight cities in 2012, including Albany, NY; Richmond, VA; Atlanta, GA; Indianapolis, IN; Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego, CA. 

ATLANTA’S HANDS-ONLY™ CPR TRAINING EVENT
The American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR tour will make a stop in Atlanta for interactive training events from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 at Atlantic Station; and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 at Centennial OIympic Park to teach Atlantans this easy-to-learn CPR method. The first 1,000 individuals (ages 18+) who are trained at these events will receive a Hands-Only CPR kit to take home and share with/train others.

The American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR campaign is supported by an educational grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation.

“Our mission is to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families, so it’s a natural fit that we would support the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR campaign,” said Morgan Kendrick, president, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia.  “Too many people die unnecessarily each year in Georgia and across the nation from sudden cardiac arrest, and we are committed to helping improve this public health crisis.”

Hands-Only CPR Campaign Elements
The campaign uses entertainment and humor to deliver serious lifesaving messages through the launch of TV and radio public service announcements, digital promotions, a one-minute animated Hands-Only CPR “how to” video and a multi-city mobile CPR training tour.

• Hands-Only CPR “How To” Video
This one-minute animated video walks viewers through the easy steps of Hands-Only CPR – heart.org/handsonlycpr.

• PSA
In the PSA, Coolidge struts to “Stayin’ Alive” as she recounts the simple steps to help save a life, ignoring interruptions from many – presumably because EVERYONE around her knows Hands-Only CPR. To watch the PSA and a 60-second “how-to” video on using Hands-Only CPR to help save a life, hustle to heart.org/handsonlycpr or Facebook.com/AHACPR.

To learn more about the Hands-Only CPR campaign and tour, hustle to heart.org/handsonlycpr.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Jennifer Coolidge
Jennifer Coolidge is a versatile character actress and experimental comedienne, best known for playing "Stifler's mom," in the film American Pie (1999); Hilary Duff's stepmother in A Cinderella Story (2004); Paulette, the manicurist in Legally Blonde (2001) and its sequel; the voice of Aunt Fanny in the animated feature Robots (2005); for her role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager as Betty; and for her regular role in the NBC sitcom Joey as Joey's agent, Bobbie Morganstern. She is also a regular actor in Christopher Guest's mockumentary films, including Best in Show (2000). Coolidge is an alumna of The Groundlings, an improv and sketch comedy troupe based in Los Angeles, CA. Currently she has a supporting role in 2 Broke Girls as Sophie.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. 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. As part of our overall mission to save lives, we are setting out to train all Americans in lifesaving Hands-Only CPR. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 , visit heart.org   or call any of our offices around the country.

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