AIDAN’S LAW SIGNED BY PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT - JUNE, 2014The Savino Foundation supports and applauds the efforts of other Memorial Foundations with a similar mission to Save Lives with AEDs. These Foundations are formed by family members who are trying to avoid similar sudden cardiac death tragedies. In June, 2014 we were invited to a Bill Signing by Governor Tom Corbett that achieves the following for schools in the State of Pennsylvania:
- It establishes a database as part of each school’s annual report to the state Department of Education. Each school must identify how many AEDs they have, where they are located, and their age. If schools do not include that information in their report, they do not receive state funding. Once that database is compiled we can see which schools we need to contact and offer partnership.
- It establishes a program where AED manufacturers enter a bid process every two years and negotiate a discount price to which all schools, public and private, will have access. So schools can acquire AEDs at the state rate, and save themselves a lot of money.
- It allows for the possibility of state funding to further reduce the cost of AEDs for schools, which would have to negotiated as part of the annual budget process each year.
2003 Pennsylvania School Physical Legislation
Research indicates the typical victims of SCD cases are age 15.5. The addition of a comprehensive physical exam at the logical time a young person develops and becomes more active may avert sudden cardiac death tragedies.
In 2003, on behalf of the Savino Foundation, Pennsylvania State Senator Joe Conti introduced legislation mandating physical exams for all 8th graders within the commonwealth. This would replace a requirement (dating back to 1949) that student medical examinations be conducted upon original entry into school, 6th and 11th grades.
The bill proposed mandated physicals upon original entry into school, 4th, 8th, and 11th grades. It also aimed to broaden the scope of the school physical and lower the nurse-to-student ratio from 1 to 1500 to 1 to 750. Toni Pellegrini and Lorraine Sikora testified several times in support of this bill. Unfortunately, in November, 2006, the bill did not become law. On a positive note, as a result of the awareness related to school physicals, the State of Pennsylvania did revise their Student and Athletic Physical Forms to include more in-depth family heart history and symptomatic questions. This change createsa dialogue between the physician and the patient which is essential to determine if additional testing may be necessary.