And the winner is….

We received two wonderful video submissions from organizations hoping to win our free AED Giveaway Contest for February:

SPCA of Monterey County:

Saving Hearts Foundation (UCLA Chapter)

When it came time to vote on a winner, our board did what boards do: each member advocated passionately for the video they thought should win, they drew straws, there may have been some thumb wrestling. After all the votes were tallied, Saving Hearts Foundation (UCLA chapter) was determined the winner!


Thanks to a generous donation from Tyler Heart Institute, the SPCA is also being awarded a free AED! Located in Monterey, Tyler Heart Institute offers a wide range of cardiac services. They treat individuals but clearly have a soft spot for animals, too. Tyler wanted to see the folks at the SPCA of Monterey awarded a defibrillator at their office location as thanks for their dedication to animal rescue.

We want to sincerely thank the Tyler Heart Institute for their additional donation and extend hearty congratulations to the two entrants. Both walked away with a free AED! For this month’s AED giveaway, we’re asking folks to submit a photo telling us why they want a free defibrillator. Props, signs, and graphics are encouraged. The caption should also tell us where they will place the AED if they win.

We can’t wait to see your submissions!

February Submissions for Our AED Giveaway!

February marks the second month in our yearlong AED-a-Month Giveaway Contest. We’re seeing momentum pick up as we receive inquiries about the contest from our supporters around the country.

We really want to see you win a free AED, wall cabinet, and 5-year maintenance package, so we’re shaking things up for March. To enter, simply submit a photo telling us why you want an AED. Please post to our Wall on Facebook or email us at Feel free to use signs, graphics, pantomime, etc. and attach a description on the photo of where you’ll put the AED.

February’s video submissions both come from California:

SPCA of Monterey County:

Saving Hearts Foundation (UCLA Chapter)

Who will win February’s free AED, wall cabinet, and 5-year maintenance package? Our board of directors will cast their votes and we will announce the winner on our Facebook page.

It’s a new month. Will you be our March winner?

“AED-a-Month” Giveaway :: January Entries!

With generous financial support and AED donations from donors, Via Heart Project will give away a free AED every month in 2015. Schools, organizations, and individuals are encouraged to participate!

Entry is free and easy. Participants must post a short video (under 5 minutes) to our Wall on Facebook or send us a link to the video at The video should promote heart health or educate us about the value of AEDs. That’s it! Easy, right?

Our board of directors will sit down each month to vote on a winner. (There might be some arm wrestling matches or a coin toss involved if the race is close.)

This contest is just starting out, so we can’t wait to see the momentum build as this giveaway progresses into the year. Our two submissions for January were:

Gracie Soultanian from Heartstrong:

Molly Reed from Who We Play For (FSU)

We’ll announce the winner on our Facebook page!

Thank You for Your Support in 2014!

As we say farewell to 2014, we want to take a moment to reflect on this past year and thank each one of you for your support to Via Heart Project this past year.

It was an eventful year!

* We changed our name from The Via Foundation to Via Heart Project.

* In the fall, we won a $10,000 Innovation Grant from LinkedIn.

* We partnered with other organizations and helped them conduct preventative youth heart screenings. We learned a lot from volunteering and watching them in action!

* We placed numerous automated external defibrillators (AED) in schools across the nation and in businesses around the globe.

* With the help of our staff and volunteers, we taught dozens of CPR classes to folks at shopping centers, farmers’ markets, businesses, and schools.


At Via Heart Project, everything we do in our communities is because of support from generous people like you. We’re excited to show you all of the new projects we have in store in the coming year!

In 2015 we will conduct our first youth heart screening event at Sequoia High School on March 22nd. It is critical we start this program immediately because 1 in 100 youths who are tested at these free cardiac screening events are found to have an undiagnosed and potentially life-threatening heart condition! In the beginning, we will focus our efforts on schools in Northern California (where there are currently no heart screening programs for youths).

As March approaches and we gather supplies, we welcome your financial support to help purchase much-needed items that will allow us to offer these screenings to youths for free. Each youth screened costs us $20. Here are a few of the items we need to purchase or have donated:

* 4 portable echocardiogram ultrasound machines

* 20 portable EKG monitors

* Medical tables, paper gowns, and office supplies

On this final day of the year, many of you are evaluating where to donate your charitable dollars. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, all funds you donate to Via Heart Project are tax-deductible.

Thank you for being a part of our amazing year! We can’t wait to collaborate with you in 2015!

~Your Friends at Via Heart Project


Progress in Reducing Risk of Cardiac Death in Children

While unanticipated death due to sudden cardiac arrest (SCD) is always tragic, it seems to strike a more sensitive chord when the victim is a child or young adult. Many of these deaths have been attributed to an undetected congenital heart disease which presented itself when the victim was engaged in physical exertion during some kind of athletic competition or training.

In recent years, a growing number of state legislatures have taken action to protect our children from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by doing the following:

  • Passing laws requiring more comprehensive physical exams before allowing participation in athletic events.
  • Placing automated external defibrillators (AED) in schools and facilities where athletic activities take place.
  • Training school personnel on AED use and CPR.

Sadly, most of these laws were introduced following the death of a student participating in athletics and the publicity generated from the tragedy. But thanks mainly to the grassroots efforts of local parent groups, community organizations, and national organizations—such as the American Heart Association and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation—the number of states enacting some sort of law mandating AEDs and CPR training in schools continues to grow. New Jersey recently became the twentieth state to pass legislation requiring AED placement and CPR training of school personnel in every public and private high school in the state.

Other states, like California, though not successful in passing mandatory AEDs in schools laws—due, we are told, to fiscal constraints—have enacted resolutions encouraging school districts to acquire AEDs and train their personnel in CPR/AED use. And in an effort to minimize possible liability concerns, the California legislature sent a bill to the governor for signature that would:

  • Authorize school districts to solicit and receive non-state funds to acquire and maintain AEDs.
  • Provide Good Samaritan protection to school districts and school employees.


Another effort which has gained momentum in the past couple of years is mandatory CPR and AED training of high school students prior to graduation. Six states passed mandatory CPR laws in 2014, bringing the national total to 18 states. By the end of the 2014–2015 school year, over one million high school graduates will be trained in CPR.

That’s one million men and women who will have grown up with AEDs around them. These young people will enter college and the workplace trained in how to react to a cardiac emergency and will be accustomed the life-saving benefits of early CPR and access to AEDs.
This is surely something to think about as we educate and protect our youth.