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Smile Train Partners with the American Heart Association to Continue to Elevate the Level of Care Patients with Clefts Receive

March 19, 2019


NEW YORK —Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft organization announced its partnership with the American Heart Association (AHA). Smile Train is accredited as an International Training Center by the American Heart Association and will be offering Basic Life Support (BLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) to medical professionals at its partner hospitals.

The inaugural Smile Train and AHA BLS and PALS training was held in Naivasha, Kenya and brought together 13 instructor trainees and 27 provider trainees to be certified in BLS and PALS.  All participants were medical professionals from the Africa continent. The training was executed by six facilitators, led by Smile Train Medical Advisory Board member Dr. Faye Evans, Bob Culver and Diane Lawrence. The first portion of the course, held from June 25 – 27, 2018, focused on training the instructors. The second portion was held on June 28-30, 2018 where the newly trained instructors led a class of 27 providers in the BLS and PALS training.

“Collaborating with the American Heart Association ensures Smile Train partners are able to provide safe, high-quality care to the patients Smile Train supports,” said Susannah Schaefer, President and CEO, Smile Train.

“Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading killer, so we’re working globally to build healthier lives,” said John Meiners, Chief of Mission-aligned Businesses at the American Heart Association. “Joining forces with organizations like Smile Train to make our life-saving trainings available to more people around the world is essential to our mission and we are excited at the scope of services this collaboration will provide.”

The 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR & ECC state high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for both healthcare providers and bystanders to help them feel more confident to act and to provide better CPR to cardiac arrest victims. The rate of survival from cardiac arrest varies widely around the world; many factors can influence survival, but the best evidence shows that high-quality CPR and early defibrillation provide the best chance for a victim to survive.


About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Smile Train 
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

The American Heart Association
Tracie Bertaut: Tracie.Bertaut@heart.org, (504) 722-1695
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Smile Train
Shari Mason, Vice President, Communications
(212) 689-9316