SADS 20th Anniversary Logo

  February 2014

February, 2014 - Some Things In This Issue:
New Online Tool From Credible Meds pills2.jpg


CredibleMeds has announced the availability of a new online medications record-keeping and notification system!
This tool automatically checks your list of medicines for those with a risk of causing QT prolongation or heart arrhythmias. It also notifies you in the future if a medicine you are taking has been added to one of the CredibleMeds QT risk categories. LOG ON NOW and create up-to-date records for you and each member of your family.

Have You Heard About SADS Connect?


SADS Connect is a program especially designed with the help of our youth panel advisors just for the youth! SADS Connect has its own E-newsletter going out quarterly!  


Starting with the next SADS Connect E-newsletter we will be introducing the Featured Question. We will select questions submitted by SADS Connect youth members to feature in the E- newsletter. Everyone is encouraged to respond to the Featured Question with advice, stories or encouragement. Do you have any questions that you would like answered by other kids and teens with SADS conditions? This is your chance to get advice from other SADS Connect youth members! Please send us your questions at and they may be featured in the next SADS Connect E-newsletter!!  

Congratulations to Our Newest Heart Safe Schools!


The Heart Safe School Accreditation Program has certified seven schools!!!  This program was developed in Ohio in 2012 by the Snider Community Heart Watch at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio.  It began with an idea from one person! It is exciting that so many schools are recognizing the importance of being prepared for a cardiac arrest.


The certified schools:


Thomas Ewing Jr. High in Lancaster, Ohio


            West Elementary in Lancaster, Ohio

            Heritage Elementary in Pinkerington, Ohio

            Violet Elementary in Pinkerington, Ohio

            Pinkerington Elementary in Pinkerington, Ohio

            Harmon Middle School in Pinkerington, Ohio

            St. Vincent de Paul in Mount Vernon, Ohio


Schools have to meet seven specific criteria designed to ensure the safety of students and staff who may suffer sudden cardiac arrest. The criteria include having students take a cardiac risk assessment home for their parents to review with them; students at cardiac medical diagnosis are asked to have a Care Plan on file with the school;  school must have medical emergency response

 drills; Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) must be available throughout the school;  CPR trained staff to student ratio of 1:50 or better; CPR instruction provided to students as part of the curriculum; and Education on sudden cardiac arrest in youth provided annually.


Heart Safe Schools Accreditation Toolkit
will soon be available through SADS, so keep your eyes open so you can take this program to a school in your area!!!!


The drug Vernakalant has been added to the preferably avoid list with a class 2B recommendation. Vernakalant can be used in the hospital to try to convert supra-ventricular arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation back to the normal sinus rhythm. It has been developed to block the cardiac sodium current amongst others currents, and that translates to possible deleterious effects in patients with the Brugada syndrome who display the characteristic 'Type-1' Brugada electrocardiogram at that same moment. 
This recommendation follows a recent report in which it indeed appeared that Vernakalant can worsen the electrocardiogram in Brugada syndrome. Based on this information the Advisory Board recommends to avoid the use of Vernakalant in Brugada patients with a 'Type-1' electrocardiogram who need conversion of atrial fibrillation and caution in Brugada patients who do not display the 'Type-1' electrocardiogram.

Vernakalant has been added to the patient letters available in many different languages. You can print the updated patient letter from and provide it to your patients or health care professionals.
 Volunteer Spotlight: Mandi's Heart Month Story

"Of course I kicked off the month with wearing red the first Friday in February!  I have worn something red or something with a heart on it every day since and plan on it until the month is over.  I placed a four-page flyer in all of the teachers' boxes at my three schools explaining about heart health month and what they can do for themselves to prevent heart disease.  I also posted on my Facebook page to wear Red on February 7th to join me in celebrating my daughter's life and all those living with heart conditions. 
Everywhere I went that day, I gave a Red Dress Pin to cashiers, waitresses, and other random people that would give me the chance to explain why I was wearing red and to join me this month by "Painting the town Red" in honor of women with heart conditions and spreading the word and educating people of this silent killer.  I made an announcement on ITV for the school to hear and asked the students to wear red.  I went to the cafeteria during lunch and was overwhelmed by all the red I saw.  I had about 20 SADS bracelets that I handed out and the kids were thrilled to receive them.  I will be teaching three one hour classes on heart disease in the young to P.E. classes and letting them know the importance of "Jump Rope for the Heart" and raising money for research on Thursday the 20th at a local school that has requested me to speak."



SADS Foundation Courts K. Cleveland Jr. Young Investigator Awards in Cardiac Channelopathy Research


To encourage the next generation of researchers in SADS conditions, the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation is announcing the Sixth Annual SADS Foundation Courts K. Cleveland Jr. Young Investigator Awards in Cardiac Channelopathy Research.  As in past years, there will be a BASIC SCIENCE award and a TRANSLATIONAL/CLINICAL SCIENCE award given.  Both awards will be administered by the Pediatric and Congenital EP Society (PACES), and will be presented at the annual PACES evening meeting, Wednesday, May 7th at the 2014 Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Sessions in San Francisco.


The deadline for submission is March 21, 2014Click here for additional details including rules, selection criteria and award information.

Advocacy Now


Legislative session for 2014 are starting across the country! Several states have made heart health and prevention a legislative priority. The Maryland and New York senates are introducing new bills this legislative session requiring public school students to complete instruction in CPR and the use of an AED to graduate from high school. 

Education Section 7 - 205.2 Annotated Code of Maryland will
 necessitate the State Department of Education to develop a process to monitor the implementation for instructional programs.

New York (A.8232) would require all high school seniors to take part in CPR training, which will be provided within the school's health education curriculum and increase the number of people capable of providing effective CPR.

Let us know what efforts are being made in your state!

New SADS Staff Members 

Director of Family Support
Michelle Snow PhD, RN

Michelle is excited to join the SADS team as the Director of Family Support Services. During her 30+ years as a registered nurse and health care executive, she has had the privilege of working in acute care, hospice and home health organizations.
Michelle was born in Utah and raised in Northern California. She received her B.S.N. in nursing from Arizona State University and relocated to Utah where she pursued a masters and PhD in public health at the University of Utah. Michelle's area of emphasis was community-based education and research. During her free time, she enjoys camping, fishing, hiking, skiing, reading and the theater with her family.
Michelle looks forward to serving the individual and family needs of the SADS Foundation community.

Director of Heart Safe School and SIRCh

Connie Kitchens PhD


Connie recently returned to Salt Lake City after spending Two-and-half years teaching Public Health at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO.   Her background is in grant and program management and she has worked on a variety of unique projects. One of her highlights was being the program manager for A Healthier You 2002™ in conjunction with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002. She has worked in substance abuse prevention for many years and thus did her dissertation on the "Identification of Behavioral Risk Factors for Medically Unsupervised Use of Prescription Medications in Utah". In her free time, you can find her outside, gardening, biking, hiking, and skiing. She teaches skiing part-time at Park City Mountain Resort.




The SADS Foundation

Alice, Carol,  Christine, Michelle, Connie,  Jan, Rachel, Sarah, Grace, David and Brandon