The Academy of Moore County becomes a Heart Safe school

On Wednesday, October 27, The Academy of Moore County became one of the first schools in North Carolina to achieve the Project ADAM Heart Safe designation for their efforts to prepare for cardiac emergencies on campus.

Members of the Project ADAM North Carolina team from the Duke Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center were present during their first cardiac emergency drill, which was their last step to becoming a Heart Safe school. Salim F. Idriss, MD, PhD, the Project ADAM North Carolina medical director, Danielle Sturkey, NP, the Project ADAM North Carolina program coordinator, and Leslie Pace, RN were present to provide feedback during and after the drill.

Prior to this meeting, the Project ADAM North Carolina team met with Assistant Director of Education, Crystal Bonville and school health coordinator, Lynnette Jimenez, to help develop a cardiac emergency response plan and team within The Academy of Moore County. The Project ADAM Coordinator, Danielle Sturkey, also presented to all staff members about the importance of sudden cardiac arrest awareness and preparedness.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating, often due to an abnormal heart rhythm known as ventricular fibrillation. Sudden cardiac arrest can occur at any age and even in people without an underlying heart condition. When treated rapidly with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation from an automated external defibrillator (AED), a normal heart rhythm can often be restored.

Research studies have clearly demonstrated that the best chance of survival for a sudden cardiac arrest victim is to give a defibrillation shock with an AED within minutes. Therefore, being prepared is essential. With achievement of the Project ADAM Heart Safe Designation, The Academy of Moore County has demonstrated being prepared and being committed to help prevent sudden cardiac death.

Project ADAM is a national, non-profit initiative which works to support schools and other community sites as they improve readiness for and response to sudden cardiac arrest. The Project ADAM North Carolina team is comprised of medical professionals from the Duke Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center who are volunteering their time to make North Carolina safer. Project ADAM supports schools and youth programs through education about prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, improvement of access to AEDs, and CPR training as well as practicing responses to cardiac emergencies on campus. Project ADAM was created in memory of Adam Lemel, who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while playing basketball at a school in Wisconsin. Currently, there have been over 150 lives saved through Project ADAM affiliate programs.

For more information regarding Project ADAM and the Heart Safe School designation, contact [email protected] or visit


Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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