There are discrepancies between black and white neighborhoods in responses to cardiac arrest. People who live in predominantly black communities are less likely to get CPR or defibrillation from a bystander, and that means African-Americans have a worse survival rate when it comes to cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association estimates that more than 80 percent of the 383,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests that happen each year happen at home. And African-Americans are twice as likely to experience cardiac arrest in the house, compared to their white counterparts, and are twice as likely to die from it.

The American Heart Association, Baltimore City Fire Department and Morgan State University aim to change this. This Fall, the Stella Jean Hash Hands-Only CPR Initiative was launched with a goal of teaching individuals in high cardiac-arrest-rate communities Hands-Only CPR. The launch event which saw more than 250 individuals trained was held at Morgan State University. The initiative made possible by Mr. Bert Hash and family, in memory of his mother Stella Jean Hash, is a four-year campaign that seeks to train a new generation of life-savers in Baltimore City.