Hugh Chatham News & Notes

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Foundation to Donate AEDs to Yadkin Valley Nonprofit Organizations and Churches

Elkin, N.C. – Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Foundation has announced that it will donate at least 30 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to nonprofit and religious organizations in the greater Yadkin Valley that can be used to respond in situations where someone is having sudden cardiac arrest, potentially helping to restart hearts and save lives.

Nonprofit organizations, churches and other community and religious organizations in Alleghany, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties can download an application to get a defibrillator and submit it by the July 31, 2016 deadline. The applications will be reviewed by a committee of volunteers from the Foundation’s board of trustees and hospital staff. Preference will be given to organizations that are located in rural communities away from an emergency management system (EMS) base and that are willing to participate in training on how to use CPR techniques and AED devices; however, all nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply.

“Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in North Carolina after cancer, and this is something that we wanted to do in order to help save lives,” said Emily Parks, RN, CCRN, SCRN, stroke and education coordinator at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital. “By more widely distributing defibrillators in local communities and training more people in how to do CPR and use AEDs, we can create more ‘heart safe’ communities. If you start CPR and then use an AED within a few minutes, you will have the best chance of saving a life, possibly even before an ambulance arrives,” added Parks. She said that the expense to purchase each AED and a wall cabinet to properly secure and store it is about two thousand to three thousand dollars then added that, “the value of saving a life is priceless.”

Parks said that the hospital and its Foundation will also reach out to the business community to alert them about the need for AEDs in businesses and how to purchase them. They will also be invited to help fund the project so that more AEDs can be distributed to local churches and nonprofit organizations. The Foundation’s goal is to raise at least $60,000 within the next year to help fund this project. For more information, businesses can email Emily Parks.

Sudden cardiac arrest can be caused by a heart attack, electrocution, an existing heart rhythm or heart valve disorder or a history of drug abuse. The American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended AED placement in police cars, fitness clubs, grocery stores, workplaces, churches, retirement communities, schools and theatres, reporting that the optimal time to use a defibrillator is in the first four minutes of a cardiac arrest. The AHA says that a person’s chance of survival decreases seven to 10 percent each minute that a defibrillator is not used if it is needed.

About Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital

Hugh Chatham is a not-for-profit community health care network of physician clinics and hospital that delivers a seamless health care experience to communities in the Yadkin Valley region of North Carolina and southwest Virginia. It includes a medical group of 50 providers and nearly 800 employees who provide patient- centered care at 23 locations. Headquartered in Elkin, North Carolina, Hugh Chatham is a leader in using technology to coordinate care for patients and to provide opportunities for patients to interact with the health system. For more information, please visit our web site at You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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