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UND becomes state's first 'cardiac-ready' campus

In this file photo, an AED is put to use in training. To become a cardiac-ready campus, officials with the UND Medical School are working to teach students and faculty how to use AEDs. iStock / ooyahphoto
In this file photo, an AED is put to use in training. iStock / ooyahphoto
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UND has been designated North Dakota’s first “cardiac ready” campus by the state Department of Health.

UND has been working toward becoming the state’s first “cardiac ready” campus for about a year, which involved community education efforts about factors that increase risk for heart disease such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Additionally the campus did screenings for hypertension and conducted training on AED use and CPR, the Herald reported in 2019.

“Your hard work is evident, and we see you as a model for Cardiac-Ready Campus designations,” wrote Christine Brondyk, with the NDDoH, in a letter to Bryan Delage, assistant professor in the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Delage, chair of UND’s Cardiac-Ready Campus committee, said that while several campuses have plans in place to become “cardiac ready,” UND is the only one to accomplish the task thus far.

“This is tremendous,” he said in a statement. “The outcomes from an acute cardiac arrest vary widely, with the average nationwide survival rate being only about 10%. We’re hoping that through this ongoing program of education, training and community awareness, we can improve survival of such events in our campus community and within the city of Grand Forks.”


The university must follow certain requirements during the three-year designation period, including continuing community leadership, an ongoing community awareness campaign and conducting additional blood pressure screenings. Additionally, the university should continue education of the community on CPR and automatic external defibrillator use, continue to expand access to AEDs and work on the development of a performance improvement program.

The award lasts three years and will require re-designation in 2023.

“Now it’s up to us and our community to continue to uphold this process and to improve upon our ability to affect people’s lives in the event of an emergency,” said Terry Wynne, director of safety for the UND Department of Public Safety. “No longer can we or should we assume that we’re powerless to help someone suffering a heart attack. The tools are in place for us all to help in an emergency.”

Representatives of the NDDoH will officially present the school with the designation at the North Dakota Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program’s fifth annual Hypertension Summit, to be held from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Fargo on March 19.

“As a practicing cardiologist, I appreciate how vital such a program is for any community,” interim UND President Joshua Wynne said. “Given the rural character of North Dakota, where an ambulance might be more than just a few minutes away, it’s especially important that we all work to prepare ourselves to respond to health emergencies like heart attack and stroke."

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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