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    The “Shoestring” Award – Bronze

    five women
    UF Health Communications task force partners: Styliana Resvania, Tyler Francischine, Megan Kimmel MacPherson, Rossana Passaniti, Karen Dooley (not pictured: Marsha Mott)
    UF Health Communications

    PulsePoint Community Launch
    University of Florida College of Medicine

    A collaborative UF Health task force aims to double the survival rate from cardiac arrest in the Gainesville community by increasing the rate of bystander CPR and use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) thanks to a smartphone app that encourages both. The team, assembled by UF Health Communications, includes physicians, nurses, and staff working alongside first responder partners to promote CPR and the PulsePoint Respond smartphone app. The No. 1 objective in the first year was to build a community of PulsePoint users in the greater Gainesville area. Integrated with the Alachua County 911 system, the PulsePoint mobile app alerts users to a nearby cardiac emergency and empowers them to help. The app also indicates the location of the nearest AED. The easy-to-use app and seamless integration have improved bystander response rates and AED usage in locations around the country where it has been in effect for several years. This initiative aligns with UF Health’s stated goal to improve overall health and quality of life by engaging people and communities in the region. With no departmental home or marketing budget, the responsibility for managing PulsePoint activities and promotion was adopted by a small section of UF Health Communications, which employed a number of public relations tools. The result has been widespread awareness as measured by substantial user downloads in the first year.

    What is one thing you learned from this experience?

    We learned there is a great disparity in bystander CPR and AED usage rates in our county, which led us to tailor our communications strategy to those areas where we know the health outcomes can be greatly improved.

    What challenge did you overcome?

    Our biggest challenge was establishing a task force to tackle promotion of this new app, along with little to no budget to promote the app’s integration into our county’s 911 system and continuing to promote it month over month.

    Karen Dooley, dooleyk@ufl.edu