Calling All New Jersey Heart & Stroke Heroes

Heart & Stroke HeroesHave you or someone you know ever witnessed a cardiac or stroke emergency and taken action? The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association is currently seeking nominations for the 2019 New Jersey American Heart and Stroke Hero Awards, locally supported by RWJBarnabas Health. These awards recognize individuals of any age, as well as groups, organizations and businesses in New Jersey who made rescue efforts or took extraordinary steps to strengthen the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association Chain of Survival.

The Chain of Survival refers to five key actions that help to save someone’s life in a cardiac or stroke emergency. These steps are:

  1. Recognition of cardiac arrest or stroke and activation of the emergency response system by calling 9-1-1.
  2. Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions.
  3. Rapid defibrillation/ use of an AED.
  4. Basic and advanced emergency medical services.
  5. Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care.

A strong Chain of Survival can improve chances of survival and recovery for victims of cardiac arrest or stroke. Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. The act of CPR can double, or even triple, a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.  Additionally, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. But stroke doesn’t mean death. In fact, many stroke victims can walk away from the hospital if treated within a few hours of symptom onset when treated with a clot-busting drug called TPA.  But the good news is that anyone—ANYONE—can learn the signs of a stroke and help save a life.

A New Jersey Heart or Stroke Hero can be any person or group who acted in a good faith effort to help save a life regardless of the outcome. A nominee can be any individual, group, or business who recognized a cardiac or stroke emergency and activated the Chain of Survival by calling 9-1-1, performing CPR or using an AED; went above and beyond to educate others on cardiac arrest and stroke; or have taken measures to strengthen the Chain of Survival in their community. Nominees selected to receive the New Jersey American Heart or Stroke Hero Award will be recognized at a state-wide celebration held in September.

If you or someone you know has strengthened the Chain of the Survival, please visit to learn more and fill out a nomination form. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, July 8, 2019. For questions or additional information please call Courtney Nelson, Senior Director of Community Health at 609.223.3734 or

Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. Please visit to learn how you can help save a life like a New Jersey Heart Hero.

When it comes to stroke, two out of three times, it’s a bystander making the decision to call 9-1-1 or seek treatment on behalf of someone suffering a stroke.  Anyone can be a Stroke Hero, just remember F.A.S.T., and be ready to act.

F– Face drooping

A- Arm weakness

S– Speech difficulty

T– Time to call 9-1-1

For more information on stroke warning signs and risk factors, visit