Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the North Carolina Council of Churches, the American Red Cross and State Rep. Becky Carney have selected Winston-Salem’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church as one of 150 places of worship across the state to participate in Strive to Revive.
The program aims to reduce deaths related to cardiovascular disease by providing select churches with automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and CPR training to church members.
“Our congregation is committed to protecting the health of our members, and Strive to Revive helps us take this commitment to the next level,” said Elvenia Johnson, congregational nurse and chair of the chuerch’s Health Ministry. “With more than 350-plus people attending our church each week, we have the potential to save lives and make a real difference in our community.”
Strive to Revive kicked off in Charlotte in 2010 by awarding 20 organizations with AEDs and CPR training. Program organizers recently committed to expanding the program statewide by distributing AEDs and providing CPR training to an additional 150 places of worship.
Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., claiming up to 450,000 lives each year. Strive to Revive focuses on organizations that attract large populations of individuals affected by heart disease, cardiac arrest and other health risk factors, including African Americans, Latinos, women and seniors.
Johnson said the program is providing Mt. Zion and the other churches with life-saving tools.
“In case of an emergency, not only would we have the training to save someone’s life, we would also have the needed equipment to increase the survival rate until the proper medical attention could arrive and transport them to an emergency facility. M. Zion has a very active congregation and a Senior Day Care Center,” she said.