Three Elementaries Recognized as Project ADAM Heart Safe Schools

Cottonwood Creek, Richard J. Lee and Mockingbird elementary schools were recently designated as Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory) Heart Safe Schools. With this national distinction, these three schools are now among the more than 500 Project ADAM schools in Texas. They also join Coppell ISD’s Canyon Ranch and Valley Ranch elementary schools, which achieved Project ADAM status in 2020. 

Project ADAM is a national non-profit program intended to help schools in all communities build CPR-AED or Public Access Defibrillator programs. The designation is attained by schools upon successful implementation of a quality sudden cardiac arrest program of awareness, training and effective emergency response to promote a Heart Safe environment for students, visitors and staff as outlined within the Heart Safe School Checklist.

According to CISD Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt, this designation recognizes the work that has been spearheaded by school nurses Sandra Brenneman at Cottonwood Creek, Ameira Olayan at Lee and Meghan McClellan at Mockingbird. 

“On top of everything else our school nurses have had to tackle this school year, I applaud Sandra, Ameira and Meghan for spearheading this effort,” Dr. Hunt said. “Our nurses consistently go above and beyond to keep our students and staff safe.” 

Project ADAM began in 1999 when Adam Lemel, a Wisconsin high school student, suddenly collapsed and died while playing basketball at school. Following the tragedy, Adam’s parents worked with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to devise a program that would provide schools throughout the nation with resources that could potentially save lives should a child experience cardiac arrest during school or after-school activities. Cook’s Children’s Heart Center coordinates Project ADAM for Texas. 

Because cardiac death can happen within minutes, it is important for school staff members to have a general awareness of what sudden cardiac arrest looks like, warning signs, the importance of rapid response, basic AED information and what to do when someone collapses in an emergency situation.

Joyce Alcorn, CISD Coordinator of Health Services, says the district is constantly looking for better ways to ensure safety, and supply health and emergency protocols throughout all of its facilities.

“The health and safety of our community is our school nurses’ top priority,” Alcorn said. 

For more information on Project ADAM, visit cookchildrens.org/cardiology/project-ADAM