Providing education and awareness of the need for CPR training, medical pre-screening and on-site AED accessibility with a special emphasis on youth and high school athletic programs.
About the Darius Jones Foundation
Darius Jones Foundation Purpose and Vision
In October 2009, Darius Jones suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while doing what he loved best: competing in a youth basketball game. He was fifteen years old. Darius's death exposed a need which is now being met by the foundation that bears his name. Nationwide, approximately 7,000 youth die of sudden cardiac arrest every year, mostly due to undiagnosed heart conditions. Cardiovascular disease is the second leading medical cause of death in children and adolescents in the United States. In Contra Costa County alone from May 2009 - February 2010, there were 9 sudden cardiac arrests experienced by children and youth, which resulted in 4 deaths and 5 saved lives. The youngest victim was 10; the oldest was 17. In each of these cases, there was a direct correlation between bystander use of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and those children who survived.
This tragic loss of life could also be greatly reduced through the use of Automated External Defibrillators. An AED is a computerized medical device that can be used by a layman bystander during a cardiac arrest. The device automatically analyzes the victim's heart rhythm to determine if a shock is required; provides prompts to ensure user safety; and then instructs the operator to deliver the electric shock. Having AEDs present in public locations so that bystanders can use them has been shown to save lives.
We specifically seek to reduce the disparity in cardiac arrest deaths in communities of color. In Contra Costa County, the death rate from heart disease in African-Americans is 258.8 per 100,000, compared with 151.9 for whites. Public awareness campaigns for the recognition of heart attack symptoms and the application of CPR have been widely embraced in white communities, while the African-American and Hispanic communities historically has displayed a distrust of the medical establishment. By conducting community-level outreach using a neighborhood, block-to-block approach, we aim to inform African American, Hispanic, and White families of the threat of sudden cardiac arrest and teach them life-saving ways to respond.
The Darius Jones Foundation has established partnerships with various organizations operating in Contra Costa County to fight cardiac arrest deaths, including the County's HeartSafe Community initiative; Contra Costa Health Services; American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance service; Annuvia Inc., an AED distributor; school district representatives; and others. It is our belief that we can complement the educational and outreach efforts of these organizations by accessing faith-based sites and providing culturally competent messages.
The Darius Jones Foundation hopes to achieve the broadest possible coverage of sudden cardiac arrest awareness, CPR training, and AED accessibility. Initially, we are focusing on providing CPR training and AEDs at schools in East Contra Costa County. This region is ethnically diverse, with 17% African American and 35% Hispanic population. The more affluent socioeconomic areas of the County have already conducted public awareness campaigns and have a much greater number of AEDs installed in the school system, but until this year, the public schools in the East County communities of Antioch, Bay Point and Pittsburg did not have a single AED device installed. In 2010, our first year of existence, we began to address this need by providing 11 AEDs to local schools.
We strive to provide services to the most underserved areas, and the credibility of Darius's story allows us to have the unique ability to connect with communities of color.
4th Annual 5K Run!
Join us on October 12, 2013 for the 4th Annual 5k Run fundraiser. Funds raised will be used to further the Darius Jones Foundation's goal to help provide local schools with life-saving AEDs.
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CPR Training Schedule
None currently scheduled. Please check back soon.
Some of our partners are listed below.
Darius Jones Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 1414
Pittsburg, CA 94565