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Public Health Works to Help Residents Save Lives

Winneshiek County Community Foundation
November 6, 2017

Nancy Sacquitne has been with Winneshiek County Public Health for 32 years. During that time her she has worked diligently on her personal mission – to ensure everybody knows how to respond in a time of crisis.

“If you are unsure of how to respond in a situation that calls for CPR, the survival rate really drops. The American Heart Association really focuses on helping people understand that,” said Sacquitne. “Unfortunately, some people don’t realize the need until it’s too late.”

Winneshiek County Public Health offers American Heart Association Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes to community members through two certified instructors. Last year, Public Health trained over 80 people. The instructors work with both private and public-sector business and organizations, working to train or renew employee certifications.

As the American Heart Association updates their guidelines, the Winneshiek Public Health office strives to keep up. This mean updating the gear they use for trainings to stay up to date with national standards often.

“Cost wise, that adds up for us. To cover the cost and make updates when those changes happen is difficult. Receiving the grants gives us a chance to purchase updated equipment,” said Sacquitne.

With a grant from the Winneshiek County Community Foundation, the department was able to purchase correct equipment, giving them the opportunity to reach more people. The new equipment included Annie CPR manikins, updated booklets, Automated External Defibrillators (AED) trainers, face masks, and teaching modules.

“The grant allowed us to essentially double our equipment. This allows us to have larger classes without having to borrow or rent additional equipment which adds to our costs,” said Sacquitne.

The department’s goal is to get as many people in the community trained as they can. Partnerships, like the one they have with the Winneshiek County Community Foundation, will allow them to continue offering more classes and opportunities to accomplish this mission.

“We are providing an education that can save a life. We prevent, promote and protect. We are promoting a healthy lifestyle and trying to educate you on how you can make a difference in someone else’s life,” said Sacquitne.

Overall, the partnership between the Winneshiek County Community Foundation and Winneshiek County Public Health has furthered the Winneshiek County Public Health mission of increasing the number of persons who are trained in CPR and the use of AED, creating awareness and a level of confidence in the effort of saving someone’s life.