Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and the Dutchess County Department of Health were recognized today by the American Heart Association at the 2008 Annual Meeting and Volunteer Award Breakfast in Poughkeepsie.
County Executive Steinhaus was honored with the Heart Safe Champion award in appreciation of his 2007 HEART Safe Communities Initiative, the first county level initiative in the nation. The HEART Safe Communities Initiative is based on recognition of the effort of communities that have the potential for saving the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and increased public access to defibrillation devices. “Dutchess County has a long history of initiatives to address heart health because we understand the potential life saving impact of highly accessible CPR training and defibrillators,” said County Executive Steinhaus.
Commissioner Michael C. Caldwell also received a Volunteer Award for his ongoing support and partnership with the American Heart Association. Commissioner Caldwell’s vision and understanding of the need to strengthen the chain of survival from cardiac arrest has led the Dutchess County Department of Health to implement several programs that engage the community to obtain strategic placement of automated external defibrillators (AED) and large numbers of people trained in CPR, thereby increasing the chances of survival from cardiac arrest in Dutchess County.
Ozie Williams, Public Health Nutrition Coordinator and Diabetes Educator, was also recognized for her contribution to the “First Ladies Brunch,” a program that brought together women from various churches and ministries to talk about the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease in the African American population. Ms. Williams presented information in an easy to understand and relevant manner, engaging the women in their leadership positions so they too could be empowered to helping increase the chances of survival of cardiac arrest in their communities.
“The health and well being of our residents is always the top priority for Dutchess County Government. We are fortunate to have such dedicated individuals like Dr. Caldwell, Ozie Williams and all of the staff who work tirelessly for the residents of our county,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.