Assessing Effective Practices and Barriers to Creating School and Community Partnerships for a Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention Program: A National Project ADAM® study

Published:October 08, 2022DOI:



      Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam's Memory) is a national collaborative to improve outcomes for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. Given Project ADAM's expansion, we sought to identify effective methods to partner with community leaders and understand barriers to engagement. Our aim was to establish effective practices to guide affiliates and optimize site operations and partnerships.


      We conducted a survey of all Project ADAM sites in 2020. Medical Directors and Program Coordinators were included for generalizability. The survey consisted of 20 questions covering the domains of communication, goals for partner organizations, partnership barriers, staff time commitments, and Project ADAM program needs.


      Thirty-one members responded: 14 Medical Directors and 17 Program Coordinators. E-mail was the predominant method to initiate (58%) and maintain (87%) contact with partner organizations, though telephone (21%) and in-person visits (14%) were common for initiating contact. Presentations at school board, Emergency Medical Services, and athletic director meetings and student/family testimonials were powerful engagement tools. Barriers to partnership varied, revolving around limited school budgets, overburdened staff, and Covid-19. Limited time, difficulty coordinating schedules, and lack of dedicated resources were common challenges for Project ADAM sites. Only 36% of Medical Directors receive institutional recognition of Project ADAM effort.


      Project ADAM's partnership with community stakeholders creates unique opportunities and challenges. Optimal communication methods should be identified early for each school, with regular interaction for long-term success. Institutional recognition of Project ADAM efforts may boost success. Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic created numerous challenges and may spur operational changes.


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