Two local women honored

Among 29 New Jerseyans recognized for saving lives

On Wednesday, June 3, two Hudson County residents were presented with 2015 New Jersey American Heartsaver Awards. They were among twenty-nine New Jersey individuals and organizations honored for their efforts to help save lives.
The American Heart Association 2015 New Jersey American Heartsaver Awards recognized individuals and groups who made a rescue effort to save the life of someone experiencing a cardiac emergency, as well as individuals, organizations and schools that have taken extraordinary steps to strengthen the American Heart Association “Chain of Survival.”
Nancy Francisco of Union City, and Sarah Katz and the 2014 Bar/Batmitzvah Class of the United Synagogue of Hoboken, were recognized for taking extraordinary steps to strengthen the “Chain of Survival” in their communities.
As the parent liaison coordinator at Union City Middle School, Francisco is charged with organizing monthly breakfasts for parents. She partnered with the American Heart Association for one of these breakfasts and made the focus on CPR education. Over 60 parents were trained in the lifesaving skill of CPR. Francisco was also credited with bringing CPR training to her church in Union City where she helped train over 50 parishioners with the lifesaving skill of CPR. The award statement called her “a true advocate for training others.”
The 2014 7th grade Bar/Batmitzvah class at the United Synagogue of Hoboken decided to adopt cardiovascular health as their theme. Led by Sarah Katz, the class embarked on a number of activities around heart health, including each getting trained in CPR/AED. The students also included American Heart Association hands-only CPR materials at all their events and provided CPR demonstrations at several health fairs.
The awards ceremony took place at the Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health & Wellness in Mercerville. The program was led by Albert Rundio, Chair, NJ American Heart Association ECC Committee; Dr. Mario E. Pozo Vanegas, American Heart Association Northern NJ Regional Board of Directors; and Brian Walsh, cardiac arrest survivor and American Heart Association volunteer.
The American Heartsaver Recognition Program is an initiative supporting the American Heart Association’s efforts to strengthen the “Chain of Survival” in communities as an effort to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans while reducing death and disability from heart disease and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020.


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