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Florida Department of Health Celebrates World Heart Day with Statewide Trainings

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

September 29, 2015

Florida Health Logo

Sept. 29, 2015



Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla.—In celebration of Sept. 29 being World Heart Day, the Florida Department of Health is promoting heart health by hosting Hands-Only™ CPR trainings in every county statewide. The theme for 2015 is creating heart healthy environments.

“This year, the department is working to ensure all Floridians have the tools they need to intervene in the event of a cardiac emergency,” said Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Officer for Children’s Medical Services Dr. Celeste Philip. “Ultimately being prepared now will lead to lives saved in the future.”

In Florida, 23.4 percent of adults age 65 and older reported in 2013 that they had been told by a health care provider that they had a heart attack, coronary heart disease or stroke. Heart disease was the leading cause of death in Florida in 2014 and is the number one killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

“World Heart Day is yet another chance to remind the community of our biggest health threat, heart disease, and that it can be prevented,” said Carrie Miller, Greater Orlando American Heart Association executive director/vice president. “With diet, exercise and education, we can help fight this silent killer and create a healthier community.”

Hands-Only™ CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting (such as at home, at work or in a park). It consists of two easy steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that); and
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

Hands-Only™ CPR performed by a bystander has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR with mouth-to-mouth breaths in the first few minutes of sudden cardiac arrest. Watch any of these videos for a brief overview of Hands Only™ CPR.

“A ‘well done’ shout out to our partners at Florida Department of Health for their celebration of World Heart Day and raising awareness of the essential lifesaving skill, Hands Only CPR,” said Pat Shea, executive director of the American Red Cross of North Florida. “In just a few short minutes you can learn what you need to start lifesaving CPR on a victim in cardiac arrest. Reaching all 67 counties in one day sends a clear message to our communities of how everyone can get involved and save a life. We see the benefits of an engaged, resilient community every day in our work. ” 

Visit the department’s World Heart Day event page to find a training near you: In addition to the Hands-Only™ CPR trainings held statewide, thousands of people participated in 5K walk/runs in recognition of World Heart Day across the state on Sept. 26.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not-for-profit organizations, businesses and entire communities to help Florida's children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living. To learn more about how to be active and make nutritious food choices, visit

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