Exchange Bank Becomes First HeartSafe Financial Business

Exchange Bank LogoPetaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is proud to announce that Exchange Bank, the largest Sonoma County-headquartered community bank, has joined its HeartSafe Community initiative (HSC), a formal effort to decrease the number of deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by strengthening the community’s response to SCA through life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) installation and training. In February, recognized as National Heart Month, Exchange Bank will begin the process of becoming a HeartSafe Business by installing AEDs at nine of its locations throughout Sonoma County and offering expanded CPR certification and trainings to its employees.

“We are thrilled to add Exchange Bank to the growing number of HeartSafe Businesses that are proactively helping to ensure its customers, employees and the residents of our community know how to respond quickly and efficiently to a sudden cardiac emergency,” said PHCD CEO Ramona Faith. “Exchange Bank has always demonstrated a unique dedication to the community, with this effort as a prime example of showing its employees and customers that it prioritizes their health and safety.”

Exchange Bank AED Demo 3PHCD launched HSC in 2013 to strengthen Southern Sonoma County’s response to cardiac emergencies and increase survival rates through CPR and AED certification and trainings, strategic AED installation, maintenance and registration, and heart health education. The initiative is led by PHCD in collaboration with the Petaluma Fire Department, Coastal Valley Emergency Medical Services, St. Joseph Health, Arrow Benefits Group, Rancho Adobe Fire District, Petaluma City Schools, Save Lives Sonoma and the American Heart Association (AHA). HSC is managed by Healthquest CPR, an authorized AHA training center and service of PHCD.  In June 2015, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Petaluma City Council formally designated Petaluma a “HeartSafe Community.”

Throughout the month of February, Exchange Bank will install AEDs in its three main offices in Santa Rosa and in six branch locations: Rohnert Park; Cotati; Petaluma Main; Healdsburg; Reinking (Montgomery Village); and Sebastopol.

“As a true community bank, the decisions we make in running our business come down to what is best for our customers and employees – and this mentality surely extends to wellness and safety initiatives. While we’ve offered CPR training to our employees for some time, partnering with PHCD and the HeartSafe Community initiative will take our rescue ready efforts to the next level, ensuring that even more employees are trained not only in CPR, but in using an AED,” said Exchange Bank’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources Lori Zaret. “PHCD made the process of becoming a HeartSafe Business so simple, answering any and all questions we had along the way and guiding us in putting a process in place that ensures our use of AEDs are covered by the Good Samaritan law and that there is no liability for use or non-use. We hope to be a role model to additional businesses in the community looking to implement this life-changing program.”

In addition to partnering with local businesses, PHCD and HSC are working with school districts to implement AED installations, along with staff trainings and maintenance plans to ensure ongoing compliance and safety. For example, the Petaluma City Schools District is the first district in Sonoma County to become HeartSafe, which includes a cardiac emergency response plan, a designated emergency response team, installation of AEDs with corresponding maintenance plans, and staff certification and training at each of its school sites. Similarly, Shoreline Unified School District has also become HeartSafe through PHCD’s initiative, becoming the first district in Marin County to do so. More broadly, HSC in 2015 certified 1,965 community members in CPR, with an additional 1,000 trained in hands-only CPR. Further, 33 AEDs were installed at various sites throughout Southern Sonoma County. All AED installations included an AED maintenance plan that fosters ongoing compliance to ensure devices and community members are prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency. In 2015, PHCD also introduced the “Golden Heart Award,” honoring nine residents who used their CPR training to save a life.

“We applaud and thank all of our partners who have made a commitment to be ‘HeartSafe’. With AED ownership comes a responsibility to understand that having an AED placed at your business, school or community center is really just the first step. PHCD, along with the rest of our HSC partners, are educating the community that AEDs must be properly maintained and in compliance with new state and federal law to ensure that they are always ready in the event of a cardiac emergency,” added Faith. “Our HSC initiative offers specific programs based on the unique needs of our members. Maintenance is very minimal and we provide all instructions and training to help ensure ongoing compliance. There is nothing worse than thinking you are prepared for a life threatening situation when you actually aren’t. Our program is saving lives.”

Alarmingly, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and Sonoma County. In support of countywide comprehensive heart health efforts, PHCD and HSC has aligned with Hearts of Sonoma County, a three year Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Initiative spearheaded by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services to reduce heart attacks and strokes by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

If you would like to purchase an AED, have questions about an existing AED, or would like CPR/AED training, please contact Healthquest CPR at 707-766-9226 or [email protected].

City of #Petaluma Declares May 2015 “Health Care District Month”

Photo: Back row (from left to right): Suzanne Cochrane, PHCD Executive Assistant/Board Clerk; Elece Hempel, PHCD Board President; Front row (from left to right): Andrew Koblick, PHCD Controller; Ramona Faith, PHCD CEO; Tami Bender, Lifeline of the North Bay Home Service Representative, Healthquest Instructor and HeartSafe Community Lead Role; Tina Deason, Healthquest Coordinator and Instructor; Maria Larsen, Lifeline of the North Bay and Healthquest Program Manager

City Council Vote Pays Tribute to Petaluma Health Care District’s Work and Promotion of Health Care Awareness and Options in the Community

Petaluma Health Care District logoPETALUMA, Calif., May 5, 2015 – Petaluma Health Care District (PHCD) is pleased to announce that the Petaluma City Council voted last night to declare May 2015 as Health Care District Month. This declaration recognizes the essential role PHCD plays in Southern Sonoma County and the importance of creating and promoting health and wellness programs, services and initiatives that contribute to the health and vitality of the community.

Photo by BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat
Photo by BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat

In celebration of Health Care District Month, PHCD has formally launched its new website,, and released its 2014 Annual Report, providing easy-to-access information and resources pertaining to its many community health programs and services. Throughout May, PHCD will be present at various local events, educating Southern Sonoma County residents on the district’s role in the community, including how to access its services and programs. These events include the Petaluma Kids Gran Fondo race, the Tuesday East Side Farmers’ Market on May 26 and the Saturday West Side Farmers’ Market on May 30. PHCD will culminate this month-long celebration with a breakfast in appreciation of its community partners. PHCD will also share information throughout the month on social media via its Facebook page.

From PHCD Website Lifeline Emergency Response
From PHCD Website Lifeline Emergency Response

“It’s an honor to receive this formal recognition, which we see as a platform to prompt awareness of the fact that we are here every day advocating for the health and well-being of our community. PHCD has a multitude of offerings and benefits related to community health, education, partnering efforts, and emergency and acute care services, as well as programs in place for our residents to access,” said PHCD CEO Ramona Faith. “Our belief is that good health is a state of complete physical, mental and societal well-being and not merely the absence of disease – and it takes a dedicated collaborative effort in today’s world to keep people educated on healthy habits and choices, as well as to provide access to high-quality medical care.”