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First REdI Training Classes Held at VACO

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki (left) practices CPR compressions during Resuscitation Education Initiative (REdI) training at the VA Central Office

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki (left) practices CPR compressions during Resuscitation Education Initiative (REdI) training at the VA Central Office (VACO). Mary Fakes, REdI Program Manager, (white coat) conducted the training. The REdI training was the first at VACO, and 43 staff members participated. (VA photo by Robert Turtil)

WASHINGTON D.C. - The first Resuscitation Education Initiative (REdI) program training classes were held Jan. 11 at the VA Central Office (VACO) in Washington D.C. A total of four classes that day provided basic life support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training to 43 VACO staff members, including Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

REdI, or the Resuscitation Education Initiative (REdI) program, is a national VHA program to standardize, document, track and monitor the provision of Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Basic Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support training throughout VHA. REdI is a business unit within the Simulation Learning Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) program.

Using American Heart Association guidelines, REdI's purpose is to provide critical train-the-trainer support to provide training to large numbers of VA medical center clinical and non-clinical employees.

Deborah Meeson is the Chief Financial Officer executive assistant at VHA. She attended the 3 p.m. REdI training session.

"The training was terrific, and on a personal note, I can say I feel much relieved to have some skill to help in a crisis, at least until the professionals arrive! This is an added tool for �work-family balance� in my book," said Ms. Meeson.

REdI team member Mary Fakes, RN, REdI Program Manager; as well as REdI Health Education Specialists Robert Kraemer and Peggy Civiletti, were on hand to provide the one-hour life saving classes to a variety of staff members from various areas of VACO.

"Resuscitation training can be applied beyond the realm of clinical practice, to areas such as VA police, administrative and support service staff," explained Ms. Fakes. "For example, immediate response training for non-health care staff for witnessed emergencies and use of the Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in and out of medical center/clinical settings can be effectively taught to VHA non-clinical staff through VHA�s use of the American Heart Association Family & Friends program."

The REdI program is based with SimLEARN in Orlando, and is recruiting resuscitation education staff to help train other instructors at the VAMC training centers. Those instructors will then provide REdI training to front-line staff across VHA.

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