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Project ADAM Minnesota certifies Shakopee Public Schools as state’s first Heart Safe School district

Shakopee Public Schools is the first public school district in Minnesota to be certified as a Heart Safe School by Project ADAM Minnesota. The district unveiled the official Heart Safe banners that will hang outside the schools on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023.

Two high school students, Maddie Hoyd and Marian Mohamed, lead the work to get all Shakopee schools certified as Heart Safe. They received hands-on guidance, advice and support from Nathan Neis, RN, DNP, and Dr. Andrew Schneider from Children’s Minnesota – an affiliate of Project ADAM.

What is a Heart Safe School?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in young athletes. Though these events are very rare, when they do happen it can have a profound impact on the community.

Shakopee Public schools staff and Children's Minnesota staff standing below Project ADAM Heart Safe School banner.
Pictured, left to right: Missy Johnson, Shakopee Public Schools (SPS) School Nurse; Tracy Courneya, SPS Health Services Supervisor, Officer Mike Santos, Shakopee Police Dept.; Dr. Mike Redmond, SPS Superintendent, Janni Hennes, volunteer AED coordinator; Dr. Andrew Schneider, Nate Neis, DNP APRN CPNP-AC; Terasa Bonifas, RCIS; Becky Neis, RN; Brooke Laskowski, RN.

When a school becomes a Project ADAM Heart Safe School, it means the school has successfully implemented a practiced plan to respond to sudden cardiac arrest. This includes awareness, training and effective emergency response to promote a safe environment for students, visitors and staff.

These schools have AEDs, or automated external defibrillators, in place and have a dedicated team made up of the school nurse and building staff who have been trained to quickly respond when a cardiac emergency may arise.

“The dedication of the students and district staff to achieve Heart Safe status has been incredible,” said Dr. Schneider. “Having the right equipment and training to respond to sudden cardiac arrest can save lives. This is the goal of Project ADAM Minnesota. We look forward to helping more Minnesota schools become Heart Safe.”

How does Project ADAM Minnesota work?

Project ADAM is a national program which strives to assist schools and communities in establishing a practiced plan to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest. Project ADAM has saved the lives of more than 200 children, adolescents and adults who went into sudden cardiac arrest.

Project ADAM Minnesota provides individual consultation on the prevention of sudden cardiac death in school settings. Consultations are provided free of charge to Minnesota schools, made possible by the generous support of the Children’s Heart Clinic and Children’s Minnesota.

Connect with Project ADAM Minnesota

If you work at a school and are interested in working with Project ADAM, please contact Project ADAM Minnesota at [email protected].

Project ADAM Minnesota leaders:

  • Andrew Schneider, MD, is the program director.
  • Nathan Neis, DNP, APRN, CPNP-AC, is the program coordinator.
Nick Petersen