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UNION GROVE — Union Grove High School, 3433 S. Colony Ave, has officially been declared a Project ADAM Heart Safe School, as of March 20, 2023.

Those who enter the school, including students, visitors, and staff, will have a better chance of surviving cardiac arrest with the implementation of this program.

Cardiac arrest, more commonly known as a heart attack, is a condition in which abnormal heart rhythms cause the heart’s electrical impulses to suddenly become chaotic.

Defibrillation, which delivers an electric shock to the heart, is the only known treatment to stop this chaotic electrical activity. For every minute defibrillation is delayed the victim’s chances of survival decrease by 7-10%.

According to the American Heart Association, every year there are 326,200 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Of those, only about 10.6% survive. On any given day, approximately 20% of a community is in its schools, including students, teachers, staff and family members. A focused effort on cardiac arrest preparedness in schools is critical to protecting our children and others in the community.

Project ADAM

Project ADAM stands for Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory.

The non-profit organization came to be and has been implemented in schools across the country, in memory of Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old boy from Whitefish Bay, Wis., who collapsed and died while playing basketball at school.

They are committed to saving lives through advocacy, education, preparedness, and collaboration to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Project ADAM works with the Children’s Wisconsin, and the Herma Heart Institute, to implement a comprehensive plan to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Union Grove High School recieves Project ADAM Heart Safe School designation
Union Grove High School’s cardiac response team, led by school nurse Trish Commodore, holding a banner that displays the Heart Safe School Designation. Pictured from left to right, members of the UGHS Cardiac Response Team: Craig Sheppard, Emily Paskiewicz, Chris Jones, Anne Sireno, Dave Pettit, Trish Commodore, Ben Roettgen, Jeff Urban, and Gretchen Caldwell. – Credit: UGHS

What is a Heart Safe School?

According to the release, the Heart Safe School designation indicates to the public that school staff is trained and prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency. Heart Safe School Designation includes placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) within a school building, implementation of a cardiac emergency response plan, AED drills, and education of school staff on the warning signs and prevention of sudden cardiac death. AEDs are safe and easy to use, making it possible for non-medical personnel to provide rapid defibrillation for victims of all ages.

More information

For more information regarding the Heart Safe School Designation and the CPR-AED program, please contact Trish Commodore, R.N. BSN, Union Grove High School.

For more information about Project ADAM and how to achieve the Heart Safe School Designation, please contact Jodi Wenzel, Project ADAM Coordinator, at

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