Community of LifeSavers Program Wins NJHA Award

Contact:Robert Cavanaugh, Manager of Public Affairs for Meridian Health
Phone:(732) 751-7546

Meridian Health’s Community of LifeSavers Program Wins NJHA Award

The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) presented Meridian Health with a 2015 HRET (Health, Research and Educational Trust) Community Outreach Award for its Community of LifeSavers Program. The award was presented at NJHA’s 96th Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton.

“Meridian Health is truly honored to receive a New Jersey Hospital Association HRET Community Outreach Award,” said Laura Ahern, director of Community Outreach, Meridian Health. “Our Community of LifeSavers Program has already taught CPR and the correct use of Automated External Defibrillators to more than 4,500 students in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Our community now has an army of rescuers who are ready, willing and able to put their skills in action in the event of an emergency.”

Last summer, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno signed into law legislation that requires public and charter schools that include grades 9 through 12 to provide instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) as part of the existing health education curriculum.
Under the bill, instruction in CPR and the use of an AED would be provided to each high school student prior to graduation as part of the district's implementation of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. School districts may select a no-cost, non-certification instructional program to meet this requirement.
Meridian Health partnered with the American Heart Association in a landmark, multi-year initiative to create a Community of Life Savers. When everyday people are equipped with the skills to perform CPR, survival rates can double or even triple. The program was launched in Monmouth and Ocean counties in March 2014.

Cardiac arrest is more common than one might think. It can happen to anyone at any time, including our youth. In fact, the American Heart Association estimates that there are approximately 100 student athlete fatalities each year from sudden cardiac arrest. Studies show that survival can be improved 200-300% if CPR is initiated by a witnessing bystander.

Meridian’s program is offered at no cost to schools or students. Additionally, the program is also set up in a way that it builds a sustainable CPR training infrastructure; Meridian will train staff from each school district as a CPR Instructor, enabling them to train additional teachers, administrators and students in their district.
Providing broad CPR training to the community has been part of Meridian’s educational offerings for years. In 2013, Meridian taught 19,324 people, which included health care workers, fire fighters, police, teachers, EMTs, and other community members.

About Meridian Health

Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, fitness and wellness centers, and outpatient centers. In September 2014, Meridian Health and Raritan Bay Medical Center signed a Letter of Intent to merge.  In October 2014, Meridian Health and Hackensack University Health Network signed a Memorandum of Understanding to merge.  Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in New Jersey for clinical quality, is one of the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” for five consecutive years, and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence. Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium alongside six of the nation’s leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.  With more than 100 convenient locations, over 1,800 beds, nearly 13,000 team members, and affiliations with more than 2,000 of the area’s finest physicians, Meridian Health is a leading health care provider in New Jersey, providing quality health services, facilities, and programs.  For more information, please visit