Officials From American Heart Association Visit United Hatzalah Headquarters, Renew Organization’s Training License

Toward the end of November, officials from the American Heart Association (AHA) visited United Hatzalah’s headquarters in Jerusalem and met with representatives from the organization’s Medical Division. The meeting took place to further the partnership between the two organizations which have been working together since 2017. At that time, United Hatzalah was tapped to become the AHA’s official training partner in Israel.

From left – Liad Ohana, Glenn M. Vanden Houten, Avi Marcus, Nisan Hefetz, Marida Straccia

The AHA is is a nonprofit organization in the United States that funds cardiovascular medical research, educates the public with regard to healthy living, and fosters appropriate cardiac care both in the U.S. and around the globe in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. They are held by many to be the gold standard in cardiovascular procedure and cardiac care for emergency first responders. They have also published guidelines on cardiovascular disease and prevention, standards on basic life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and pediatric advanced life support (PALS) in numerous languages and in various countries.

Participating in the meeting on behalf of the AHA were Europe and Africa Regional Director Glenn M. Vanden Houten and International Resuscitation Programs Manager Marida Straccia, while Head of the Medical Division Elad Becher, Deputy Director of the Medical Division Avi Marcus, Chief Paramedic Liad Ohana, and Chief Medical Control Officer Nisan Hefetz represented United Hatzalah.

During the meeting, the AHA renewed United Hatzalah’s license as an AHA-certified training center and discussed issues relating to the latest techniques in CPR. “We had a very good discussion in which many new ideas were raised,” said Marcus.

The certification provided by the AHA recognizes the United Hatzalah education and training of its EMTs and Paramedics as well as other community-based training initiatives such as the “Family First” project, which teaches basic CPR skills to the general public in a four-hour class.

Marcus was also given a gift and Certificate of Appreciation in recognition for his help in translating the AHA’s cornerstone “Basic Life Support” book from English to Hebrew.

Becher talked about the importance of the meeting and said, “As a recognized training center for the AHA here in Israel, United Hatzalah has trained hundreds of first responders with the certified courses offered by the AHA at all of the various training levels, (ACLS, BLS, and PALS) as well as family safety courses. I was pleased to receive notification today from the distinguished representatives who visited us, Glenn and Marida, that two of the AHA courses have been translated into Hebrew, enabling Israeli students to take these courses in their mother tongue. This is an important development that will allow these specialized training courses to become more accessible to Israeli first responders and medical staff across the country. United Hatzalah is a proud partner of the AHA and we wish to thank the AHA and its staff for taking the next step with us in this important partnership.”

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