SCAA and Emergency University Launch National Partnership

New alliance will deliver an unprecedented level of AED resources and expertise to businesses, agencies, and community organizations across the U.S.


We’re Going Digital for Donations!

We're going full 2020 and adding a wonderful new digital donation platform! We survive on the generous donations of our members, friends and companies. Thank you for your continued support.


April 2020 Newsletter

SCAA Merchandise      New Normal Commuting      Podcasts     Tips from Social Media


December 3, 2019 is Giving Tuesday

Help us in our mission to save lives from sudden cardiac death. To donate you can click on the link below.  Thank you for your support.  DONATE NOW or paste the following URL into your browser

(https://squareup.com/store/sudden-cardiac-arrest-association )

The first episodes of Cardiac Conversations have arrived. You can listen to them at www.rhgtvnetwork.com/category/32133.  Yes, it’s a mouthful.  But this is a work in progress.  We have secured www.cardiacconversations.org and as we progress in our web site redesign, this will become the permanent home, so please bear with us. Watch for news of this exciting new program!

Educate. Advocate. Prevent. Live.

The mission of the podcast is pure and simply to save lives through heightened awareness, education and advocacy. In the new series, SCAA will continue to drive awareness for sudden cardiac arrest and give listeners a broader level of expertise as we join forces with our medical partners, survivors and industry specialists to build an unparalleled advocacy ecosystem to increase survivor rates for the world’s leading cause of death.

A Peak at the First two Episodes

Our inaugural episode features SCAA Chair Josh Fischer. We explore what an SCA is versus a heart attack, ways we can all respond to save lives, a rapid response checklist and the ongoing vision for the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association as we look to 2020 and beyond.
SCAA’s Fran Lesicko is the featured guest on the second episode. We delve into our COPE program which address the mental and emotional aftermath of an SCA. Nearly 90 percent of survivors suffer impairments to daily living. In this episode, you’ll hear about the “rest of the story” that survivors and ICD implantees embark on to get a better understanding and navigating the emotional, psychological and neurological issues in the aftermath of an SCA.

We are excited to bring you this new program and look forward to your input. If you have a suggested guest or an issue you’d like us to explore, please send comments to info@suddencardiacarrest.org.


Advocacy Corner:

Your voice can be heard. 

Greg and Julie Coon have an idea. Why can’t we make finding an AED easier?  On his change.org petition, Greg posed this question: Within two seconds, you can find a Starbucks with directions, reviews, and more. However, if someone collapses from a sudden cardiac arrest, why can’t I use the same technology to find the closest AED?

When his wife Julie had a cardiac arrest, it took 45 seconds to get CPR started. It was two minutes before she received a shock from an AED. It was three minutes before the ambulance arrived. When it did make it to the scene, Julie was breathing again and her heart was back beating. Seconds count. Watch this video for Julie's story. 

He recognized the importance that CPR and AED use played in his beloved wife’s survival. This technology has the potential to save thousands of lives, if not tens of thousands of lives over time. In an effort to help us all be able to use AEDs, he started a change.org petition: Add AED locations to Google Maps and Apple Maps as a searchable feature to save lives.

To learn more about this effort and if moved, to support it, visit change.org.


SCAA is partnering with the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation this September to raise awareness of pediatric cardiomyopathy, the number one cause of sudden cardiac arrest and heart transplants among young people. Pediatric cardiomyopathy is a chronic and potentially life-threatening heart disease that affects how the heart muscle pumps blood through the body. 

Children’s Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month urges families to #KnowYourHeart to learn the signs, symptoms and risk factors of cardiomyopathy, which will help identify at-risk children and get them the appropriate medical attention to prevent sudden cardiac death. For more information on Children’s Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month, visit www.childrenscardiomyopathy.org

Also, be sure to follow SCAA on Facebook and Twitter. We will send periodic posts to support Children’s Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month. We ask, if you are so moved, to retweet on Twitter or share on Facebook so we can reach the widest audience possible. 

Watch for Facebook updates and Twitter posts. Please share out to your network. Spread the word! Together, we can raise awareness.

Here are some facts:                                                               


90 Seconds Can Save A Life

Hands-Only CPR — Anyone can do it. Everyone should!



As much as we think “Everyone knows how to do CPR,” we would be so wrong.

We have so much more work to do to convince folks that they need to call 911 right away and begin compressions. This impacts our entire community. According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. It’s important that we get the word out. Statistically speaking, if we need to give CPR, it’s likely to be someone you know and love – a spouse, a child, a friend. 

June 1-7 is National CPR and AED Awareness Week. We’re pleased to support the American
Heart Association and its important mission to increase survival from cardiac arrest. We are
asking that you simply take 90 seconds of your day to learn the lifesaving skills of Hands-Only CPR.

You may wonder why this is such an important cause. Your life is why!  In just 90 seconds, you can learn the two simple steps to Hands-Only CPR. Click here to watch the Hands-Only CPR video.

Please watch the video any day June 1-7. Then share the link with family and friends.
We’d like 100% employee participation.


Thank you for learning how to save a life!


November 27, 2018 is Giving Tuesday.  Help us in our mission to save lives from sudden cardiac death. To donate you can click on the link below.  Thank you for your support.

DONATE NOW or paste the following URL into your browser

(https://squareup.com/store/sudden-cardiac-arrest-association )

    Giving Tuesday

October is Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month

October 10, 2018, Sacramento, Calif. -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Did you know it’s also Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness month? Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or SCA, is a debilitating condition that can affect people of all ages. From infants to healthy, active teens, from adults with known heart disease to older adults, it is a truly equal opportunity affliction that claims a life every two minutes.

SCA is the leading cause of death in the United States. It takes more than 350,000 lives each year. That is more than breast cancer, lung cancer or AIDS.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, in conjunction with ten other heart-focused non-profit organizations have published a fact-based webpage, www.stopcardiacarrest.org, to bring focus to this devastating condition.

“With awareness and education, SCAA and its sister organizations, strongly believe that we can and will put a significant dent in this terrible statistic,” said Josh Fischer, chair of the national non-profit SCAA. “Data shows a miserably low survival rate of 10 percent or less. However, when a patient receives lifesaving, hands-only CPR within the first three to six minutes, until an AED can be used, or EMS arrives, that survival rate will increase dramatically.”

SCAA believes everyone needs to know three steps to saving a life:

  1. Always call 911.
  2. Get certified. Hands-only CPR administered in the first few minutes until an AED or emergency medical arrives on scene is immensely important.
  3. Be familiar with and know where AEDs (automatic external defibrillators) are located. These life-saving devices bring the power of the ambulance to your fingertips.

 Visit www.stopcardiacarrest.org today.


SCAA Launches New Online Store to Help Save Lives

October 4, 2018, Sacramento, Calif. – More than 350,000 people succumb to a sudden cardiac arrest each year in the United States, according to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA). This October, the organization has two messages for Americans that can significantly help to save lives: Learn and use Hands-only CPR and Make sure all buildings have working AEDs.

Sudden Cardiac Arrests (SCA) claim one life every two minutes. Anyone can experience this debilitating condition including infants, children, teens and young adults, adults in their prime with no sign of heart disease as well as older, mature adults. SCA is an “equal opportunity” condition.

“Our goal is to prevent unnecessary death from an SCA,” said Josh Fischer, chair of the national non-profit, SCAA. “We have a goal to double the survival rate, which currently is less than 10 percent. We see two factors that can significantly raise that statistic. Right now, only 32 percent of those suffering from SCA get much needed CPR in the critical first few minutes. Folks either don’t know this life saving process or are too afraid to get involved. The second factor is access to automated external defibrillators or AEDs.”

SCAA just launched an online store, AEDStore.ORG, to help businesses and organization purchase AEDs in public venues, workplaces, schools and multi-use facilities. “October is National Sudden Cardiac Awareness month—a great reminder to check AED batteries and order supplies to ensure you are ready in case an emergency happens,” Fischer said.

AEDstore.org features AED products and supplies at competitive prices from all the major AED manufacturers including Cardiac-Science, Defibtech, Heartsine, Philips, Physio-Control and Zoll. In addition to AED supplies, the store features recognition awards including pins, military/police-style bars and certificates to honor:

SCAA chapters actively work to build awareness about SCA and how to combat it with handsfree CPR and AED placement. They also work to raise funds to purchase AEDs for use in public places such as houses of worships, civic organization facilities, and schools.  In addition, through SCAA awards, chapters recognize those who have survived this debilitating condition, those who helped to save someone suffering an SCA and those who have an internal defibrillator or ICD implant.

“We recognize that we have many choices in AED providers and, through our store—AEDstore.ORG, that’s ORG since we are a non-profit—we can continue our efforts to help those providers and SCAA achieve ubiquitous access to this lifesaving device,” said Jeanne Alford, SCAA Executive Director.


New Leadership Brings Marketing, Program Development Expertise to Position

WASHINGTON, DC ​— The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) and its Board of Directors have announced Jeanne Alford as the organization’s new executive director. Alford brings more than 20 years of experience to the position in a broad spectrum of fields, including public relations, communications, marketing and consulting.
“Jeanne brings a unique combination of personal and professional experience, making her an excellent selection to serve as the SCAA’s next executive director,” said Josh Fischer, chair of the SCAA Board of Directors. “We are excited to see the future growth for SCAA and our membership with Jeanne’s vision and leadership.”
Alford assumed the position as executive director earlier in June and is currently in the process of assuming full duties from past-executive director and SCAA co-founder, Richard Brown. Over the next several weeks, Brown and Alford will work together to ensure a seamless transition of leadership responsibilities.
Alford has extensive experience in developing and executing marketing and awareness campaigns for organizations such as Dolby Laboratories, Visa USA and the Semiconductor Industry Association. Her background includes public relations, social media, issues management, crisis communications and international brand development. She currently works as an independent senior communications consultant, coach and trainer. Additionally, sudden cardiac arrest touched Alford personally when her sister, former SCAA chair Mary Tappe, survived SCA in 2004.
“I believe in the importance of the SCA story. It is critical to many beyond the medical community: patients, family members, human resources and corporate safety teams to name just a few,” said Alford. “I know firsthand that the general public may not understand SCA. Until my sister suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, we as a family did not know what SCA was. She, thankfully, survived and we now know that SCA runs in our extended family. Thus, my personal interest in amplifying SCA awareness and continuing the impact that the SCAA can make across the United States and beyond. I am honored to serve as SCAA’s new executive director and helping to fulfill the organization’s mission to reduce preventable deaths from sudden cardiac arrest.”
Alford holds a Bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of California – Davis. She has also received the Gold Quill award from the International Association of Business Communicators, and is a member of the USTA NorCal Marketing Leadership Council.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) launches Online Store

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) has launched an online store (AEDStore.org) which sells Defibrillators (AEDs) and related equipment as well as Recognition/Award items.  The store features products at competitive prices from all the major manufacturers of AEDs.  The Recognition items including pins, military/police- style bars and certificates are meant for:

SCAA chapters are very active in their local communities building awareness about sudden cardiac arrest.  They also work to raise funds to purchase AEDs for use in public places such as houses of worships, civic organization facilities, and schools.  In addition, chapters recognize, through awards, those who have survived this debilitating condition, those who helped to save someone suffering an SCA and those who have an ICD implant.

With this new store, SCAA can better support its chapters as they shop for AEDs and supplies. The store, open to the public, also features a special pricing for SCAA chapters.

“The SCAA goal is to prevent unnecessary death from sudden cardiac arrest. Providing AEDs to the public through AEDstore.org is another step to reaching that goal, said Jeanne Alford, SCAA Executive Director. “We recognize that we have many choices in AED providers and, through our store, will continue our efforts to help those providers and SCAA achieve ubiquitous access to this lifesaving device.”   



June 1-June 7, 2018

During this week, we ask all our SCAA Chapters, members and friends to remind others that a prompt call to 911 and the immediate use of CPR and an AED saves lives that might otherwise be lost to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)!  We are proud that SCAA and other organizations have contributed to the growing awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the robust deployment of AEDs over the last ten years.  The public is much more aware now than ever before of what an AED is and what it is used for.  But this knowledge is by no means fully imbedded in the public and the presence of AEDS for ready deployment is not ubiquitous.  So, we ask all to spread the word once again in your communities.

As more and more lives are being saved through alert responses through CPR and AED utilization, SCAA has also turned its attention to those who have survived an SCA or who have been implanted with an internal defibrillator (ICD) and to the family members of both groups.  We have established our national COPE line so all those affected by an SCA or an implant of an ICD can have someone to talk to about the manifold issues associated with these events.  If you or a family member has been involved in an SCA incident or have been implanted, please call the number below and you will be contacted by someone who is knowledgeable and has had a similar experience.  This person will be able to answer many of your questions, address your concerns or put you in contact with others that can speak to you about issues that may be beyond their knowledge.

1-855-COPE-SCA (1-855-267-3722)


October is Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month

We are asking our Chapters to promote Awareness of SCA in  their communities and states by reproducing our new SCA COPE Brochure and distributing it to cardiologists, electro-physiologists and hospitals--so they can in turn, give the brochure to their patients. The Cope-Line program is working very well, aiding survivors and ICD implantees and their family members in coping with their new status as a Survivor or Implantee or one of their loved-ones. 
The new brochure has been made possible by Bonnie Beach and UW Health which is the integrated health system of the University of Wisconsin-Madison serving more than 600,000 patients each year in the Upper Midwest and beyond. The brochures are being distributed in the UW hospital network which is our largest single distribution effort to date.
The brochure is editable, so Mary can edit your local contact name and number in.  Please download it at a local printer of your choosing and help others become more aware of SCA and help others COPE, as well.
We are also please to announce that certain chapter leaders and our Board members are receiving the beta version this month of our online store which we plan to roll out to the public in November. The site will help with distribution of AEDs through our chapters and directly to the public.  
Mary Tappe, Chairperson


1-855-COPE-SCA (1-855-267-3722)


ACCESS—The SCAA COPE-LINE is now operational. SEE the COPE tab on this SCAA website for more information on how to access the COPE-LINE.

WHO IS IT FOR?—The COPE-LINE is for Survivors of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and ICD Implantees or family members of either group.  It offers an opportunity to speak live with someone who is a survivor of sudden cardiac arrest and/or has been implanted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, commonly called an ICD or an internal defibrillator.

WHO WILL YOU TALK WITH?—The caller will not receive medical advice, but will be able to talk with a Survivor or Implantee who has experienced a similar situation, is familiar with many of the issues surrounding coping with sudden cardiac arrest or ICD implantation, and has talked with many other people who have arrested or been implanted.

COPE-LINE A KEY ELEMENT IN A NEW LINK IN THE CHAIN OF SURVIVAL—The COPE-LINE has been created to implement another effective link in the Chain of Survival

The Chain of Survival

Call 911—Effective, early, bystander CPR—Rapid defibrillation (AED)—Effective advanced life support—Integrated post resuscitation care—COPING with the consequences.

Continue reading . . .

steve johnston 

     Date of Birth:
     Monday, June 11, 1956
     Date of Death:
     Wednesday, May 31, 2017
     60 years old



Former SCAA Board member Steven James Johnston, age 60 died of a heart attack on May 31st, at his home in Rochester, MN. Steve was involved with SCAA since its infancy and provided insight and passion to our Board deliberations and to the organization as a whole. He was instrumental in creating our Recognition program for Rescuers and Survivors of SCAA.

Steve is survived by the love his life of 28 years, Connie, and two adoring children: Matthew, Jennifer and her husband Scott, who he loved like a son. He leaves behind four siblings and many nieces and nephews. Steve is preceded in death by his parents: Gordon and Bettie Johnston and two siblings.

Steve made incredible contributions to society during his 35 year career in Law Enforcement. He started working at age 16 as a dispatcher for the Tracy Police Department.  He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement and Corrections from Mankato State University, graduating magna cum laude. He then accepted a position as a patrol officer with the Rochester Police Department. Over the years he moved up the ranks and ended his career as Deputy Chief. Steve attended the FBI National Academy and a graduate program in Law Enforcement Administration.

One of Steve’s greatest contributions was development of the Early Defibrillation Program. This is a police-based defibrillation program that is now considered the most effective program in the world.  In Rochester alone, it has saved the lives of more than 250 people. Steve dedicated a lot of his time and energy helping other police departments around the world implement similar life-saving programs. His influence and efforts in raising funds for defibrillators and training for police officers is unprecedented, and has helped save thousands of lives each year.

Steve had many other significant career accomplishments, far too many to list, but to name a few; he automated the issuance of parking citations and warrants, constructed the Animal Control Shelter, developed the Communications Unit, obtained $200,000+ in grant funding for automatic vehicle location equipment, testified before the MN Legislature to help get funding for the purchase of defibrillators for the MN State Patrol, drafted and helped enact MN Statue 609.505 subdivision 2 making it a crime to falsely accuse police of misconduct, and upgraded Rochester’s 9-1-1 system. As a true public servant, he was an avid volunteer, served on many boards, committees, and took on several leadership roles within those organizations.

Most importantly, Steve was a devoted Christian and loving husband, father, brother and uncle.  He loved helping friends, family, and even strangers however he could.  He was extremely humble and his kindness and dedication to others was second to none. Steve had an amazing sense of humor and loved to joke around.

Public visitation will be held Tuesday, June 6 at the Autumn Ridge Timothy Chapel 3611 Salem Road SW, Rochester, from 5-7 pm and one hour before the funeral service held at 11 am on Wednesday, June 7 in the main auditorium of Autumn Ridge Church. Memorials may be made to the family who will disperse among his favorite causes.

Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com


Woman Thanks Paramedics Who Saved Her Life

Stephanie Gavshon contacted the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) COPE-LINE and spoke with Mary Tappe, a fellow sudden cardiac arrest survivor. Mary talked at length with Stephanie, discussing those feeling that other survivors intuitively understand. Stephanie was very interested in hearing how her rescuer's would greatly appreciate being thanked in person, given such a small percentage of people survive sudden cardiac arrest. SCAA provided the certificates and medals that Stephanie provided to her paramedics. SCAA is very happy to have played a very small part in helping Stephanie and her family recover. If you know of anyone impacted by sudden cardiac arrest, please have them call SCAA's peer-to-peer COPE-LINE at 1-855-COPE-SCA (1-855-267-3722

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Sharing an article from our Michigan Chapter


Contact Information

SCAA phone number  1-855-317-7222
Jeanne Alford, Executive Director
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Mary Lyons

Save Date: 1987
Activity: Playing softball

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SCAA members are diverse and include SCA survivors, individuals with ICDs, family and friends of survivors and ICD patients, first responders, healthcare and public safety professionals, industry representatives, government officials, and interested and concerned citizens.

Membership in SCAA is free. Discover the benefits of membership in the country's largest sudden cardiac arrest advocacy group.

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