CCSD increasing number of Heart Safe Schools through life-saving initiative

February 21, 2022

Charleston County School District’s (CCSD) Nursing Services Department works hard to keep students and staff safe and healthy. During the month of February, which is American Heart Month, the CCSD nursing team partnered with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to provide staff training at Jennie Moore Elementary School and Moultrie Middle School for cardiac emergencies. By completing the course, these schools earned their certification to become Project ADAM Heart Safe Schools.

Jennie Moore and Moultrie join North Charleston High School and Wando High School as the four schools that are certified with this organization. The CCSD Nursing Services Department’s goal is to have all middle and high schools certified by the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

“Project ADAM promotes teamwork and coordinate efforts to ensure staff members can quickly respond to a serious situation on campus, including the ability to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) effectively,” said CCSD’s Director of Nursing Services, Ellen Nitz.

Project ADAM affiliate sites assist schools and communities in establishing a practiced plan to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest. The organization also provides the foundation for a school to develop and sustain their program, including planning templates, a reference manual and one-on-one consultation.

A certified Project ADAM Heart Safe School has successfully implemented a quality sudden cardiac arrest program of awareness, training and effective emergency response to promote a safe environment for students, visitors, and staff as outlined within the Heart Safe School Checklist.

Project ADAM began in 1999 after the death of Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old Whitefish Bay, WI, high school student who collapsed and died while playing basketball. Adam suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), in which ventricular fibrillation occurred, a condition in which the ventricles cannot pump blood into the body. Defibrillation, or an AED, could have saved his life.

In addition to the staff training for Project ADAM, MUSC program manager Sissy Stoughton trains high school students throughout CCSD in hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

For more information, contact the Division of Strategy and Communications at (843) 937-6303.


About the Charleston County School District

Charleston County School District (CCSD) is a nationally accredited school district committed to providing equitable and quality educational opportunities for all of its students. CCSD is the second-largest school system in South Carolina and represents a unique blend of urban, suburban, and rural schools spanning 1,300 square miles along the coast. CCSD serves approximately 49,000 students in 88 schools and specialized programs.

CCSD offers a diverse, expanding portfolio of options and specialized programs, delivered through neighborhood, magnet, IB (international baccalaureate), Montessori, and charter schools. Options include programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); music and other creative and performing arts; career and technical preparation programs; and military.