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MI HEARTSafe school program aimed at rural schools


The state of Michigan is in the middle of a push to get more life-saving equipment in rural schools. The MI HeartSafe School Program started about ten years ago through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Education (MDE), American Heart Association, Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY). It provides education, planning and more to help schools provide fast-action to those experiencing a cardiac emergency.

Kristy Karasinski is the Coordinator of the Program. She said over 700 schools have signed up over the past 10 years... but not everyone.

She said, “Michigan law does require that schools have a written cardiac emergency response plan. And what we do with our criteria is kind of go above and beyond.”

Karasinski said the state is pushing the program in rural schools in the U-P and northern lower Michigan due to vast distances within these areas that often have slower response times from medical personnel.

There are certain criteria that must be met to get the MI HeartSafe School certification through MDHHS.

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Tina Sawyer is the local host of Morning Edition on WCMU. She joined WCMU in November, 2022.