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American Heart Association and KAHP expand infant CPR kit initiative, now serving 21 counties

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The American Heart Association and the Kentucky Association of Health Plans (KAHP) announced an expansion of their statewide infant CPR kit initiative, with a goal of reaching more rural communities across Kentucky. The program now serves 21 counties.

The kits are being delivered to healthcare facilities to distribute to new parents. Each kit includes an inflatable manikin and video course that teaches lifesaving infant CPR in as little as 20 minutes.

“Rural communities often face a critical shortage of healthcare professionals, which can negatively impact the care and resources they receive, leaving many people vulnerable to negative health outcomes and shortened lifespans,” said Ashley Sokoler, executive director of the American Heart Association in Kentuckiana. “That’s why it’s so important to make CPR training available to new parents in rural areas and provide the healthcare facilities they visit with the resources needed to implement training without causing additional strain on their staff.”

The initiative, launched in May 2022, has already provided 3,000 infant CPR Anytime® Training Kits to neonatal intensive care units in 11 Kentucky counties.The expansion, funded by a $150,000 investment from KAHP, allows the Association to provide an additional 4,350 kits to new parents in counties that have yet to be served.

Clint Kaho, President of Baptist Health La Grange, said he is grateful for the American Heart Association and the funds KAHP have provided to support this lifesaving initiative, which has already benefited numerous Baptist Health hospitals across the state.

“This incredible donation of infant CPR kits allows us to respond to an education gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kaho said. “During the height of the pandemic, our on-site classes were paused, including CPR and First Aid education for parents of NICU babies. CPR demonstrations are now being given to parents in NICU rooms, and they can then take their kits home to practice and watch the video as needed.”

The infant CPR kits have been distributed in 21 counties, including Bath, Bell, Boyd, Casey, Clark, Estill, Floyd, Garrard, Harlan, Hyden, Jackson, Johnson, Madison, Montgomery, Nicholas, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rockcastle, Rowan, and Warren.

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