American Heart Association, Jennifer Coolidge Teach Americans Two Steps to Staying Alive with Hands-Only™ CPR

National awareness campaign and tour supported by $4.5 million grant from WellPoint Foundation

Jun 05, 2012, 07:00 ET from American Heart Association

DALLAS, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Remember disco? The American Heart Association and comedic actress Jennifer Coolidge are pumping new life into the '70s disco classic, "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees, to teach people across the country how to save lives with Hands-Only CPR.

The Bee Gees' hit – which is the near-perfect rate for doing chest compressions during CPR – is a centerpiece of the Association's new Hands-Only CPR awareness campaign. It only takes 60 seconds to learn the life-saving skill either online or during free in-person sessions at the new state-of-the-art mobile training unit that kicks off its nationwide tour in New York City. Supported by a $4.5 million grant from the WellPoint Foundation, the campaign will contribute to the American Heart Association's goal to double survival from cardiac arrest by 2020.

"People feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct compression rate when trained to the beat of 'Stayin' Alive,'" said Alson Inaba, M.D., the American Heart Association CPR instructor credited with first using the song to help students recall the right rate of compressions. "Not only is it a fun, catchy and memorable way to remember what to do, but it works – people's lives have been saved because of it."

Coolidge, whose work includes CBS' "2 Broke Girls" and numerous films such as "Best in Show," "American Pie" and "Legally Blonde," stars in the American Heart Association's humorous new public service announcement to teach everyone the two easy steps of Hands-Only CPR. If a teen or adult suddenly collapses, call 9-1-1 and then push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of "Stayin' Alive" until help arrives.

"It seems almost impossible to me that the whole world doesn't know CPR. I learned Hands-Only CPR while shooting the American Heart Association's new PSA, and now I know how to save a life," said Coolidge. "Who would've thought? I can save a life!"

Nearly 400,000 Americans suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year, and almost 90 percent die because they don't receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. When begun immediately, CPR can double or triple a person's chance of survival.

"The WellPoint Foundation is committed to improving health in our communities, and one of our primary focus areas is combating heart disease." said Dr. Sam Nussbaum, Executive Vice President, Clinical Health Policy and Chief Medical Officer for WellPoint. "We are delighted to support the American Heart Association's Hands-Only CPR campaign to increase survival after cardiac arrest. We are asking people to watch this short instructional video which will empower them with an unparalleled skill: the ability to save a life."

Hands-Only CPR Campaign Elements

The campaign uses entertainment and humor to deliver serious, lifesaving messages through TV and radio public service announcements, digital promotions, a one-minute animated Hands-Only CPR "how to" video and a multi-city mobile CPR training tour.

  • CPR Mobile Tour
    • A first for the organization, the state-of-the-art interactive CPR mobile tour will visit at least 24 cities over the next three years to teach thousands of people the easy steps to save a life.  In 2012, trainings will be held in New York City; Albany, N.Y.; Richmond, Va.; Atlanta; Indianapolis; and four cities in California: Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego. 



  • PSA
    • In the PSA, Coolidge struts to "Stayin' Alive" as she recounts the simple steps to help save a life, ignoring interruptions from many – presumably because EVERYONE around her knows Hands-Only CPR.


  • NYC Kickoff Event June 5
    • Coolidge will host an all-day training event to launch the campaign and celebrate National CPR Awareness Week, alongside American Heart Association volunteers, WellPoint Foundation leaders, CPR survivors and rescuers.
    • Time: 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. ET
    • Location: Grace Building Plaza, Corner of 6th Avenue & West 43rd Street, New York City


To learn more about the Hands-Only CPR campaign and tour, hustle to, or

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. As part of our dedication to save lives, we are setting out to train all Americans in lifesaving Hands-Only CPR. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.

About WellPoint Foundation

The WellPoint Foundation is the philanthropic arm of WellPoint, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of WellPoint, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that WellPoint, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. To learn more about the WellPoint Foundation, please visit

About Jennifer Coolidge
Jennifer Coolidge is a versatile character actress and experimental comedienne, best known for playing "Stifler's mom," in the film American Pie (1999); Hilary Duff's stepmother in A Cinderella Story (2004); Paulette, the manicurist in Legally Blonde (2001) and its sequel; the voice of Aunt Fanny in the animated feature Robots (2005); for her role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager as Betty; and for her regular role in the NBC sitcom Joey as Joey's agent, Bobbie Morganstern. She is also a regular actor in Christopher Guest's mockumentary films, including Best in Show (2000). Coolidge is an alumna of The Groundlings, an improv and sketch comedy troupe based in Los Angeles, CA. Currently she has a supporting role in 2 Broke Girls as Sophie.

Editor's Note:

Following are the URLs and embed codes for the American Heart Association's Hands-Only CPR PSA and behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jennifer Coolidge, and the 60-second "how to" video:

"How To" Video

Embed code
: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

PSA Video

Embed code:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Behind-The-Scenes Video

Embed code: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

SOURCE American Heart Association