Our Initiatives

4-Minute City Program

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States, but we are doing something to change that in our community! Friends of Heart is partnering with Avive Solutions, alongside the City of Jackson, the Jackson Fire Department, and West Tennessee Healthcare to significantly increase survival rates of SCA in Jackson through a brand new program called 4-Minute City.

Together, we plan to bring cutting-edge technology and forward-thinking ideas to Jackson by placing Avive's intelligent AEDs across the city and deploying their first-of-its-kind cardiac arrest response technology. Most importantly, we plan to work with the citizens of Jackson to create a culture of saving lives from cardiac arrest through free training and educational resources so that everyone is prepared to save a life.

Here are three ways you can get involved:

  1. Learn hands-only CPR/AED Training--either by scheduling an in-person class or going to our virtual training site where you can learn what to do if you witness an SCA incident. 70% of out-of-hospital SCA occur in the home, so you need to be ready to aid a loved one should an SCA occur.

  2. Become a member of the Cardiac Arrest Rapid Engagement Team (CARE Team) led by the Jackson Fire Department.

  3. Give a donation of $1,500 to sponsor an AED in our community. This donation will supply a person on the CARE Team with a life-saving device and connectivity for five years.

Youth EKG Screenings

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the #1 killer of student athletes and the leading cause of death on school campuses. 1 in 300 young people have an undetected heart condition that puts them at risk for SCA. In fact, an estimated 7,000 to 23,000 young people are stricken by SCA annually. If a young person experiences SCA, there is a 90% chance that young person will die from the SCA event. 

Friends of Heart plans to provide EKG screenings for all public, private, and home school student-athletes, band members, and ROTC cadets in Madison County to eliminate preventable SCA incidents for our more active student population. We have already started by offering them to North Side High School students in Spring 2023 as a pilot program where we tested over 120 students.

We have partnered with pediatric cardiologists at LeBonheur to make sure any students who need closer examination are seen by a specialist within one to two weeks—most will be cleared to play, and we want to get them back out on the field or the court! For the 3-5% more who will need a closer look, we are happy to say that LeBonheur’s cardiologists will continue to work with them.

We hope to conduct the first round in Madison County by the end of 2023 and then offer these screenings annually for those who qualify but have not had one. We also look to expand outside of Madison County into other counties in West Tennessee.

To learn about a local University School of Jackson baseball player who experienced an SCA in January 2021 due to an unknown congenital heart defect and why Friends of Heart wants to get ahead of the issue before an SCA happens, please check out the video below:

AED Distribution Program

Organizations in West Tennessee in need of an AED can apply for a grant to partner with Friends of Heart to obtain an AED, pads, and pediatric pads. Qualifying organizations include churches, nonprofits, rescue groups, police departments, fire departments, civic organizations, and more. We ask for $500 and Friends of Heart covers the rest. Each month, our Executive Board reviews these applications to determine who will receive an AED. Download and fill out the grant request form and email it to aedgrants@friendsofheart.org for consideration.

Community Outreach

This is one of our top initiatives as we use local funds to ensure everyone in West Tennessee has access to be the best quality heart and vascular care. Some examples of our community outreach include:

  • Demonstrating hands-only CPR/AED training free to citizens in our community.

  • Helping fund a Heart House in the community.

  • Funding technology to Gibson County EMS to transmit critical patient information while in route to the hospital.

  • Partnering to fund and develop Heart Camp an informational guide to all who undergo open-heart surgery.

Staff Education

We have assisted with funds for new technology for Jackson-Madison County General Hospital to have the most cutting-edge equipment for heart and vascular patients. We have also assisted with funds for training on new equipment and funding for seminar attendance that will bring the latest education for treatments and diagnosis to West Tennessee.

Clinical Research

We are accepting opportunities to fund a research program in the pursuit of knowledge for the best heart and vascular care but also to recruit the most talented physicians to bring or begin their practice here to West Tennessee.