Jeff Flaks, President & CEO of Hartford HealthCare, Serves as 2024 Greater Hartford Heart Walk Centennial Chair


Signature event celebrates 100 years of the American Heart Association’s lifesaving history

The American Heart Association, celebrating 100 years of saving and improving lives, announces Jeffrey A. Flaks, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare as Centennial Chair of the 2024 Greater Hartford Heart Walk. The annual Heart Walk will take place at Bushnell Park on Saturday, September 7.

As Chair, Flaks will lead efforts in the Greater Hartford region and throughout the state of Connecticut to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke while highlighting efforts to improve lives and remove barriers to health equity. Central to that mission is a unique opportunity to bring the first of its kind in New England, Hands-Only CPR mobile kiosk to communities, including underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods.

“I am honored to serve as the centennial chair for this year’s Heart Walk, bringing life-saving skills and educational resources to the communities who need them most,” said Flaks. “We know that bystander CPR saves lives, and together, we will work to bring the life-saving skills of Hands-Only CPR to thousands across the state.”

“Hartford HealthCare is proud to stand with the American Heart Association. I recognize the remarkable teams that comprise the Heart & Vascular Institute for always putting patients and quality first, for achieving a perfect score from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ (STS) Adult Cardiac Surgery Database. We are proud to be a world-class, destination heart program that is recognized as the best in the nation.”

Support of the Greater Hartford Heart Walk as platform sponsor is part of a three-year Live Fierce. Take Action. initiative with Hartford HealthCare, which includes bringing the Hands-Only CPR mobile kiosk to Connecticut. The CPR mobile kiosk is only one of eight in the United States and the first in New England. Over the three years, the kiosk will be located around the state to educate the community about this lifesaving skill. The kiosk was recently unveiled at the opening of the Greater Hartford Pro-Am summer basketball tournament at St. Joseph’s University in West Hartford. The mobile kiosk will teach Hands-Only CPR to participants and spectators through the end of the Pro-Am, August 2.

The kiosk features a touch screen with a video program that provides a brief introduction and overview of Hands-Only CPR, followed by a practice session and a 30-second test. With the help of a practice mannequin, the kiosk gives feedback about the depth and rate of compressions and proper hand placement ― factors that influence the effectiveness of CPR.

“We are immensely grateful to have Jeff Flaks’ leadership and Hartford HealthCare’s generous support as we celebrate our Centennial year,” said Adria Giordano, Executive Director, American Heart Association Connecticut. “Hartford HealthCare’s support of the Hartford Heart Walk will help fight heart disease and stroke. The mobile kiosk provides the opportunity to teach Hands-Only CPR throughout the year and build a nation of lifesavers here in Connecticut. Focusing on lifesaving CPR skills is foundational to the American Heart Association, and Hartford HealthCare is helping us make a significant impact in the state.”

Cardiac arrest – an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs – is a leading cause of death. Each year, more than 350,000 EMS assessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. According to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Statistics show that people who had cardiac arrests in majority Black neighborhoods were 40% less likely, and those in low-income areas 33% less likely, to receive bystander CPR than those in the mostly white and mostly affluent neighborhoods, respectively.

For information on the Greater Hartford Heart Walk go to www.HartfordHeartWalk.org. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Scott Selig, Development Director at Scott.Selig@heart.org.

Carolyn Martindale of Hartford HealthCare shows West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor how to use the Hands-Only CPR Mobile Kiosk at its unveiling, May 28, 2024.

1 thought on “Jeff Flaks, President & CEO of Hartford HealthCare, Serves as 2024 Greater Hartford Heart Walk Centennial Chair”

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