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Premier Orthopaedics Partners with the American Heart Association Philadelphia to Donate Infant CPR Kits to Crozer Health Patients

11 November 2020

Premier Orthopaedics Partners with the American Heart Association Philadelphia to Donate Infant CPR Kits to Crozer Health Patients

Each year the American Heart Association (AHA) raises millions of dollars to help save lives. Charitable fundraising is a difficult task in any year, but COVID-19 has made 2020’s efforts especially challenging. While the pandemic has upended life as we know it, bringing with it financial hardships, the demand for resources has not lessened. If anything, the need is more acute than ever, and the AHA has turned to corporate and community partners to help fill the gap.

Led by surgeon Chip Hummer, M.D., Premier Orthopaedics is proud to have volunteered to help.

An urgent need for the most vulnerable patients

Premier received the urgent request from the American Heart Association Philadelphia – there was a great need for new infant CPR kits for families of premature babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Every parent should be trained in infant CPR, but the need is even more critical for parents of the tiniest and most vulnerable babies of the NICU.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some hospitals are unable to host CPR classes in-person. Additionally, staff from all hospital floors – NICU staff included – are sometimes reassigned to help in other areas to assist critically ill patients. These professionals are the heroes we all salute every day.

These unfortunate circumstances have impacted health care providers’ ability to offer in-depth education and training to new parents. Some NICU infants have special needs that increase complications for sudden cardiovascular events that would require CPR. Bringing home a new baby under the best of conditions can be overwhelming, but under these circumstances it can be downright frightening.

That’s where Premier comes in.

Breathing life into CPR education

In response to the current environment the AHA has developed the Infant CPR Anytime Program, which provides easy-to-learn CPR training to caregivers of NICU babies. The program is video-based and comes complete with a kit consisting of an infant manikin to practice correct CPR technique. The program can be done during the in-hospital stay or once discharged, and each kit is fully reusable.

However, these kits come at a price.

“The request went out and we answered,” Dr. Hummer says. “This is our community and they needed us, so we stepped up. We are happy to do it. If it saves one life it was well worth the investment.”

Premier pledged $5,000 to purchase 20 of the Infant CPR Anytime kits for distribution at the two Crozer Health NICUs, located at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland and Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill. 

“Besides being good community partners, orthopaedic surgeons like myself work with cardiologists daily prior to performing surgery,” Dr. Hummer says. “We know how hard they work and how vital they are to helping patients. It is a pleasure to give back in some way for all their support.”

“We are incredibly grateful for Premier’s generous gift and willingness to fill a critical need brought on by COVID-19,” says Jennifer Davis, senior vice president and executive director for the American Heart Association. “The pandemic has prevented some hospitals from providing families with the in-person CPR training and education they would typically receive before taking their babies home. Because of Premier’s leadership, more families will leave the hospital NICU feeling safer and more educated about bringing their newborns home.”

But it is not merely a professional or community obligation that spurred Dr. Hummer to lead this worthwhile cause.

“On a more personal note, cardiovascular disease runs in my family. My father and I have both been touched by this disease. So, it is truly a cause near and dear to my heart,” he says.

“We appreciate Premier’s generosity and commitment to this worthwhile cause,” says Crozer Health CEO Peter Adamo. “Our physicians and staff are one big family and, in this instance, orthopaedics stepped up for both pediatrics and cardiology. This kind of cross-department synergy is becoming more common in a patient-centric healthcare landscape, and it’s very gratifying to see it benefit our littlest patients in need. Thank you AHA Philadelphia, Premier Orthopaedics and Dr. Hummer, from everyone in the Crozer Health enterprise and from all of our new families who have to start their lives in a NICU.”

Next steps

In addition to the NICU donation, Premier Orthopaedics staff actively fundraised for this year’s virtual AHA Philadelphia Heart Walk, held throughout the region on Nov. 6.

“All of our practices were asked to take the pledge to help,” Dr. Hummer says. “We elected team leaders for every practice within Premier. Those individuals shared information with their colleagues and rallied the troops to raise money for this worthwhile organization. This is the first time Premier has ever done anything like this and, with nearly $17,000 raised in total it was a huge success – earning our organization the AHA’s Top New Employee Engagement Company award.

“I preach the importance of exercise to my patients every day,” Dr. Hummer continues. “Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for those who might have an underlying condition, so being involved in the Heart Walk is a natural fit for us. A healthy heart leads to healthy bones – that’s for sure.”

For additional information about the Infant CPR Anytime program or kits please visit https://cpr.heart.org/en/courses/infant-cpr-anytime-training-kits