Albany Med Announces Center-Wide Hands-Only CPR Initiative


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Albany Med Announces Center-Wide Hands-Only CPR Initiative

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June 3, 2014 - Albany , NY

ALBANY, N.Y., June 3, 2014 ‹ Albany Medical Center announced today an ambitious program to provide Hands-Only CPR training to its 8,000 employees.

The program, called "Lend Me Your Hands at Albany Med," is part of National CPR Awareness Week from June 1-7.

"Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 400,000 lives annually. But studies show that immediate, effective CPR can more than double a victim's chance of survival," said Vincent Verdile, M.D., '84, dean of Albany Medical College and executive vice president for health affairs, who initiated the Center-wide program. "While our clinical staff is trained in CPR, we want our entire Albany Med team to know how to save lives too. Hands-Only CPR is so simple but has dramatic, life-saving results."

All employees, both clinical and non-clinical, will view the American Heart Association Hands-Only CPR instructional video and be tested on their knowledge of it as part of their annual education requirements; the video will be posted permanently on the Albany Med intranet and website. Also, all new employees will be trained in Hands-Only CPR as part of their new employee orientation; special instructional cards will be available for employees to attach to their identification badges; and training with Albany Med CPR experts will be conducted regularly throughout the year for those interested. In addition, Albany Med will offer American Heart Association-approved courses to those who are interested in learning the more advanced techniques.

"As a the region's leading provider of cardiac care services, Albany Med is not only committed to providing exceptional care to our patients, but also to our entire community." said Michael Dailey, M.D., director of pre-hospital emergency care at Albany Med. "By equipping all of our employees with Hands-Only CPR skills, we increase the number of people capable of saving a life in an emergency situation regardless of where that emergency might happen."

Albany Med, through its Center for Learning and Development, annually trains nearly 1,000 individuals associated with scores of community organizations in both Hands-Only CPR and more advanced techniques.

"I was at work at Albany Med when I had a sudden cardiac arrest," said Jim Wasmund, a former Albany Med Information Services specialist. "I had no chance of recovery if someone didn't do CPR. I thank God someone did."

That someone was Chris Burnett, an Albany Med Information Systems senior support specialist. He first learned CPR in high school. That knowledge allowed him to save Jim's life.
"I noticed he wasn't breathing," Burnett said, remembering he immediately started CPR and continued until a doctor arrived.

"I feel I did what anyone would do put into that situation," Burnett said, adding that everyone should know CPR. "You don't want to be in a position where CPR is needed and not be able to perform. It can literally save a life."

Darlene Hathaway, an Albany Medical Center obstetrics nurse, was at the scene of an automobile accident when she provided live-saving CPR.

"A 73-year-old woman was involved in a car crash," Hathaway said. "She'd have been gone if she didn't get CPR. I felt like I had to help her. I sure would want someone to do that for me."

"We applaud Albany Medical Center for making sure that all of its staff is trained in this lifesaving skill," said Dan Moran, president of Next-Act and chair of the American Heart Association's New York State Advocacy Committee. 

As part of the "Hands-Only CPR at Albany Med" program, Albany Med's emergency medical experts will be available at the Medical Center's Choices Café throughout National CPR Awareness Week to teach Hands-Only CPR:

* June 3-7 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
* June 3-5 from 4-8 p.m.

Specially designed CPR mannequins will be available for training. In addition, training for employees who work off the main campus will be available as will special in-department training sessions.

The video for self-instruction and additional information on advanced-level CPR training courses for non-clinical employees through Albany Med's Center for Learning and Development can be found at

 Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York's only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region's largest physicians practice with more than 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region's health and quality of life. For more information: or

Albany Med Announces Center-Wide Hands-Only CPR Initiative

Media Inquiries:

Rich  Becker

(518) 262 - 3421

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