Presbyterian Hospital of Plano Donates Defibrillator to Williams High School
10/30/2008

PLANO, Texas — Presbyterian Hospital of Plano donated an automated external defibrillator (AED) to Williams High School this week, as part of a community benefit program designed to save young lives.

Initiated by Texas Health Resources, parent company of Presbyterian Hospital of Plano (PHP), the program — designated “Gift from the Heart” — includes donations to 51 schools located throughout North Texas.

Texas Health, one of the largest faith-based, non-profit health care systems in the United States, is giving the AEDs to secondary schools located near its hospitals, which span eight counties including Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin. The donation comes as the company unites its longstanding community hospitals – Presbyterian, Harris Methodist and Arlington Memorial – under a new brand strategy.

“In keeping with our non-profit mission to improve the health of the individuals in the communities we serve, we could think of no better way to share the coming of a new brand than to give back to our schools,” said PHP Chief Operating Officer Dr. Jeffrey Canose, who presented the AED to Williams High School Principal Sara Bonser at a recent parents’ meeting. “Our hope is that this gift will increase the chance of survival for students, faculty and guests who may suffer sudden cardiac arrest while at school or attending campus activities.”

Starting Jan. 1, Texas Health’s hospitals will become Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial. Presbyterian Hospital of Plano will become Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. Sign replacement will begin near the end of the year.

More than 250,000 Americans of all ages die each year from sudden cardiac arrest, about 7,000 of them children and teens. An AED, about the size of a lunchbox, is a device that shocks the heart to restore a normal heartbeat. It is the single most effective treatment for restarting the heart after sudden cardiac arrest.

“ ‘Gift from the Heart’ is one of many community benefit initiatives undertaken by Texas Health, which spends more than $450 million annually — the equivalent of more than $1 million a day — in charity care and community benefit,” said PHP President Philip M. Wentworth. “We at Presbyterian Hospital of Plano are proud to be a part of that effort.”

AEDs are designed to allow people with no medical training to respond to cardiac emergencies by giving a life-saving shock to restore the heart to its normal rhythm. The machines give detailed instructions and analyze the heart rate to determine whether a shock is needed.

For every minute that passes between cardiac arrest and defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases up to 10 percent, according to the American Heart Association. Schools are required by law to have an AED available at all University Interscholastic League athletic practices and competitions. The presence of additional, strategically placed AEDs can reduce the time it takes to retrieve the life-saving devices.

Texas Health’s goal is to deliver AEDs to all of the designated campuses during the fall semester and to train staff members to operate the devices. This staff education is designed to help people at each school feel confident about responding to an emergency.

“Studies show that when AEDs are placed in public areas and are used quickly, survival can be 50 to 75 percent or even greater,” Wentworth said.

About Presbyterian Hospital of Plano (PHP)
Established in 1991, Presbyterian Hospital of Plano, soon to be Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, is a recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to patients. Key services offered include orthopedics, cardiovascular, oncology, pediatrics and women’s services. The 370-bed facility has more than 1,600 employees and a medical staff of 1,200 physicians. For more information about PHP, visit www.texashealth.org/php.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.