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Accomplishments

What We’ve Achieved

By having Survivors and Community Partners work together, the Minnesota SCA Survivor Network has been able to accomplish a great deal. The following are just a few examples:

  • Donated AEDs to dozens of Minnesota schools, and assisted in training students, staff, and community members.
  • Educated thousands of people during large-scale SCA/AED awareness initiatives, including joint ventures with the MN Vikings, MN Wild, Medtronic Foundation, James Taylor Keep the Beat events, and the National Heart Rhythm Foundation.
  • Testified to Minnesota State Legislators in partnership with the American Heart Association to ask for AEDs to be placed in all MN State Patrol vehicles. Legislation was passed in 2006 to fully fund the initiative.
  • Established annual MN Survivor Summit which allows survivors to meet, get to know each other, and learn best practices about SCA prevention and treatment.

December 2006 Update! 
AEDs in Minnesota State Patrol Vehicles

In May of 2006 the Minnesota Legislature approved a bill to fund AEDs for State Patrol Vehicles in Minnesota. This effort was coordinated by the American Heart Association, with strong support from OJ Doyle, a lobbyist for the MN Ambulance Association, and the Minnesota SCA Survivor Network.

Bills that would put AEDs in all Minnesota State Patrol vehicles were first introduced in 2005 but did not pass during that legislative session.

In March of 2006 bills authored by Representative Duke Powell and Senator Dallas Sams were reintroduced. Hearings took place in the House and Senate, and things were progressing slowly until the Mdewakanton Sioux expressed an interest in donating to the project. Their donation proved to be a turning point.

By the end of the 2006 session the Minnesota Legislature had approved a one-time appropriation of $312,000 to place an AED in every State Patrol car outside of the metro area. This money is available until June 30, 2009, but may not be accessed unless it is matched with funding from a non-government source. That’s where the Mdewakanton Sioux come in. Their Life Program donated $198,000 worth of AEDs.

At various times during this process, Minnesota SCA Survivors provided support. They:

  • Called and wrote letters to their legislators
  • Provided testimony at committee hearings
  • Met with legislators (See photo below)

This support truly made a difference! And this is just one of the ways Survivors can make things happen!

As of December, 2006, the Minnesota State Patrol had received a portion of the AEDs donated by the Mdewakanton Sioux. These AEDs are being placed in the cars of rural Troopers first. The AEDS purchased with state funding will be in cars within two years. At that point, the vast majority of Troopers will have AEDs.

Bradley Peterson with the American Heart Association and a group of Minnesota SCA Survivors in their trademark orange t-shirts pause for a photo after testifying at a committee hearing at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Bradley Peterson with the American Heart Association and a group of Minnesota SCA Survivors in their trademark orange t-shirts pause for a photo after testifying at a committee hearing at the Minnesota State Capitol.