After the sudden death of her seemingly healthy 10 year old son in 2004 blindsided Martha, she immersed herself in education and training relating to the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in youth.
For nearly a decade, Martha served as the Chair for the Board of Directors of Parent Heart Watch. Martha was part of a task force comprised of the American Heart Association and twelve other national health and safety organizations in developing a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan (CERP) for Schools and was part of the writing group that authored the CERP policy statement.
Martha also serves on the Orange County (Florida) EMS Advisory Council and chairs its CPR/AED Committee. She also serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Sudden Death in Young Registry and the National Center for Fatality Review & Prevention.
She has been featured in various written publications and television for her contributions to the community and children’s welfare. Martha has co-authored several research papers on sudden cardiac arrest and death in the young with leading medical experts that have been published in medical journals¹. She has also been a guest speaker at state, national and international conferences focused on youth health and safety.
Now as Executive Director of Parent Heart Watch, Martha continues to advocate for primary and secondary prevention strategies, namely heart screenings for early detection of conditions that may lead to SCA and the importance of being prepared in the event of a cardiac emergency. Her next challenge is to see that Parent Heart Watch’s vision to eliminate preventable deaths and disabilities from SCA in youth by 2030 is achieved.
¹Cardiac Emergency Response Planning for Schools A Policy Statement- NASN School Nurse, August 2016
¹ Etiologies of Sudden Cardiac Death in National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletes – Circulation Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, March 2014
¹ Triggers of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Children: A Parent Survey – Journal of the American College of Cardiology, March 2013