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Meet the Babbitt Family

2020-11-25T13:12:47-05:00

Meet the Babbitt Family

The John Taylor Babbitt Foundation was started in 2007 by JoAnne and Dave Babbitt after they lost their 16-year-old son John to Sudden Cardiac Death.

Moving back to New Jersey in 1997 from a job transfer that had brought them to England, JoAnne and Dave moved to Chatham with their two young sons, John, who would start 3rd grade, and his younger brother, Andrew, who would start first grade, at St. Patrick School. After the boys graduated from St. Pats, they attended The Pingry School in Basking Ridge. Involved with town sports such as travel baseball, football and soccer, they also returned to their alma mater to play basketball on Sundays through the parish’s youth ministry program. It was on one of those Sundays that JoAnne got the call to come down to the gym. Dave was already there watching the game. “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare,” recalls JoAnne. “In a minute your life changes—just like that.”

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Meet the Babbitt Family2020-11-25T13:12:47-05:00

What COVID-19 is doing to the heart, even after recovery

2020-11-25T13:02:05-05:00

What COVID-19 is doing to the heart, even after recovery

A growing number of studies suggest many COVID-19 survivors experience some type of heart damage, even if they didn’t have underlying heart disease and weren’t sick enough to be hospitalized. This latest twist has health care experts worried about a potential increase in heart failure.

“Very early into the pandemic, it was clear that many patients who were hospitalized were showing evidence of cardiac injury,” said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, chief of the division of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “More recently, there is recognition that even some of those COVID-19 patients not hospitalized are experiencing cardiac injury. This raises concerns that there may be individuals who get through the initial infection, but are left with cardiovascular damage and complications.”

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What COVID-19 is doing to the heart, even after recovery2020-11-25T13:02:05-05:00

COVID-19 Pandemic Dramatically Increased Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Cases and Deaths in New York City

2020-11-25T13:12:31-05:00

COVID-19 Pandemic Dramatically Increased Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Cases and Deaths in New York City

Study Based on New York City EMS Calls Finds Cases Nearly Tripled From Previous Year

JUNE 19, 2020—(BRONX, NY)—The COVID-19 pandemic in New York City caused a surge in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and deaths, according to a study co-authored by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health System, and the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY).

David J. Prezant, M.D.
David J. Prezant, M.D.

The study, published online today in JAMA Cardiology, found a three-fold increase in out-of-hospital non-traumatic cardiac-arrest cases in March and April 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. On the worst day—April 6—cardiac arrests peaked at 305 cases, an increase of nearly 10-fold compared with the same day one year earlier. The mortality rate for cardiac-arrest cases also rose, from 75% in 2019 to more than 90% during the same period in 2020.

“Relatively few, if any, patients were tested to confirm the presence of COVID-19, so we couldn’t distinguish between cardiac arrests attributable to COVID-19 and those that may have resulted from other health conditions,” said study senior author David Prezant, M.D., professor of medicine at Einstein, a clinical pulmonologist at Montefiore, and the Chief Medical Officer at the FDNY. “We also can’t rule out the possibility that some people may have died from delays in seeking or receiving treatment for non-COIVD-19-related conditions. However, the dramatic increase in cardiac arrests compared to the same period in 2019, strongly indicates that the pandemic was directly or indirectly responsible for that surge in cardiac arrests and deaths.”

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COVID-19 Pandemic Dramatically Increased Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Cases and Deaths in New York City2020-11-25T13:12:31-05:00

Chatham Girl Scout Calls on Community’s Help to Map Locations of AEDs Throughout Chatham

2020-11-25T12:57:27-05:00

Chatham Girl Scout Calls on Community’s Help to Map Locations of AEDs Throughout Chatham

“A Map to the Heart” Launches Just in Time For Heart Health Awareness Month – February

Mikayla Meyler, a senior at Chatham High School and member of the Chatham Emergency Squad, is currently working on her Girl Scout Gold Award Project to create a map promoting the locations of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the Chathams.

The project, called “A Map to the Heart,” is created in cooperation with the Chatham Emergency Squad and the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation, seeking to raise awareness of the exact locations of the many AEDs in our community. But she needs your help – and is calling on the public’s knowledge to assist her in populating the database, which will be made public on the Chatham Emergency Squad’s website and will inform visitors of where AEDs can be found throughout Chatham Township and Chatham Borough.

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Chatham Girl Scout Calls on Community’s Help to Map Locations of AEDs Throughout Chatham2020-11-25T12:57:27-05:00

Babbitt honored by Fortune Magazine

2020-11-25T12:55:27-05:00

Babbitt honored by Fortune Magazine

Fortune Magazine selects Dave Babbitt “Hero of the 500”

Fortune’s Heroes of the 500 2014 represents 50 men and women whose personal passions, individual ideals and professional endeavors are transforming communities. All of the selected honorees are employed by Fortune 500 Companies.

Dave was recognized for his work with the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation and his advocacy for the importance of installing Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) in all places of public assembly.

Age: 56
Occupation: Managing Director, Business Development, Global Markets
Company: BNY Mellon
Location: New York, N.Y.

At age 16, John Taylor Babbitt was a three-sport athlete, a dedicated student, and an active member of his Chatham, N.J., church youth ministry. He was “larger than life,” says his father, David. While playing basketball at church one evening in 2006, John Taylor died of sudden cardiac arrest, the result of an undiagnosed genetic disorder. Since then, David and his wife, JoAnne Taylor Babbitt, have championed greater access to automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, which can help someone’s heart re-establish an effective rhythm after a heart attack. “The technology has become so superior that when you open it, it tells you exactly what to do,” David explains, likening the device to having a fire extinguisher at the ready. The couple led a successful push to pass New Jersey’s Good Samaritan Law, which protects people who try to save a life by using a defibrillator from liability. Through the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation, they have sponsored AED training for more than 350 people, and granted funds to schools and community-based organizations to purchase the machines. The Babbitts are now lobbying for a law to integrate CPR and AED training into the health curriculum for seniors in high school.

Fortune “Heroes of the 500 2014”

John Taylor Babbitt Foundation
The John Taylor Babbitt Foundation is a non-profit 501c-3 organization founded in John’s memory and dedicated to preventing sudden cardiac death. The specific goals of the Foundation are to:
Install defibrillators in schools, athletic venues, and public gathering places.
Establish JTB Heart Clubs in high schools and universities to raise awareness.
Support research on genetic cardiac disorders that increase risk of sudden cardiac death.

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Babbitt honored by Fortune Magazine2020-11-25T12:55:27-05:00

New NJ law requires high school students to learn CPR before graduating

2020-11-25T12:54:41-05:00

New NJ law requires high school students to learn CPR before graduating

By Matthew Stanmyre mstanmyre@njadvancemedia.com
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Starting with this fall’s high school freshman class, public school students in New Jersey will be required to learn CPR and how to use defibrillators in order to graduate.

by Matt Friedman (The Star-Ledger)

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New NJ law requires high school students to learn CPR before graduating2020-11-25T12:54:41-05:00

Should Young Athletes Be Screened for Heart Risk?

2020-11-25T12:53:33-05:00

Should Young Athletes Be Screened for Heart Risk?

Should Young Athletes Be Screened for Heart Risk?

From the New York Times
By ANAHAD O’CONNOR, Writer
Published: April 30, 2012, 5:17 PM

Should high school athletes be screened for heart trouble before taking to the practice field?

Once thought to be exceedingly rare, sudden cardiac death is far more prevalent among young athletes than previously believed, recent research has shown. In a policy statement published in the journal Pediatrics last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics estimated that 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest in the United States every year.

While it can strike those who are sedentary, the risk is up to three times greater in competitive athletes. According to some experts, a high school student dies of cardiac arrest as often as every three days. Only the most sensational cases make headlines, said Darla Varrenti, executive director of the Nick of Time Foundation, which promotes awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in young people and provides free screenings. The condition received worldwide attention in March when Fabrice Muamba, a star soccer player in England, nearly died after suddenly collapsing in cardiac arrest during a televised game.

Ms. Varrenti started her foundation six years ago after her son, Nick, 16, a varsity athlete, died in his sleep after playing in a game. In January and February of this year alone, 29 young athletes went into cardiac arrest at schools across the country, Ms. Varrenti said. Only four survived.

“There’s a lot of press when the cases are spectacular,” she said. “But this happens all the time.”

Sudden cardiac arrest in a young person usually stems from a structural defect in the heart or a problem with its electrical circuitry. The most frequent cause, accounting for about 40 percent of all cases, is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, a thickening of the heart muscle.

The problem is that those who are at risk are hard to spot. Warning signs, like dizziness and shortness of breath, can be rare or dismissed by young athletes used to overworking themselves.

But an electrocardiogram, or EKG, can detect HCM and other potential causes of heart trouble by looking for abnormal electrical signaling in the heart. Though EKGs are not as thorough as imaging tests like an echocardiogram, which shows a 3-D view of the heart, they are cheaper and easier to conduct on a wider basis.

An EKG can cost as much as $150, according to the American College of Cardiology. But many insurers will cover 80 to 100 percent of the costs, and in some areas, high schools offer student athletes EKGs at deeply discounted rates.

Still, the American Heart Association does not support wide screening. Under its guidelines, high school athletes get a physical exam, which includes listening to the heart and a blood pressure check, and fill out a questionnaire about personal and family medical history. More extensive testing takes place only if the student’s physical or history raises red flags.

For years, the argument against EKGs was that for something as rare as sudden cardiac death, there is no sense in mandating costly tests. EKGs can be unreliable, too, producing false-positive results 20 percent of the time, critics say.

But that argument pivots on old data, including outdated numbers on the prevalence of sudden cardiac death, and fails to take into account improvements in the standards for interpreting EKG results, said Dr. Jonathan Drezner, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Washington and vice president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Even physical exams that include extensive medical histories typically fail to identify 60 percent to 80 percent of student athletes at risk, Dr. Drezner said. Adding an EKG to the sports physical would flag many young athletes whose heart defects would otherwise go unnoticed.

“No one is recommending you only do an EKG,” he said. “It really is the combined protocol of history and EKG that provides the more advanced heart screening that we should aim for.”

In a study published in 2010 in Annals of Internal Medicine, Dr. Matthew T. Wheeler and colleagues at Stanford University found that adding EKGs to sports physicals for young athletes would create “a large benefit in a small number of individuals.” But they would save enough lives to be considered cost effective, with a net cost of roughly $89 per person screened.

Based on their analysis, however, Dr. Wheeler said that EKGs make sense only for high school and college athletes — in children and adolescents, the risk of sudden cardiac death is lower — who compete in high-intensity sports like basketball, football and soccer. (Low-intensity sports, he said, include golf and bowling.)

“We are not advocating this as a mandatory test for all students or all athletes,” said Dr. Wheeler, a fellow in cardiology at Stanford Medical School.

Some experts think the time has come for thorough heart screenings for all young athletes. Researchers at the Texas Heart Institute are even looking at the prevalence of heart abnormalities in middle-school students and the feasibility of complete screenings, combining EKGs and imaging tests.

The goal of the project, which is financed through a $5 million private grant, is to screen 10,000 students in Houston middle schools, said Dr. Jim Willerson, the lead investigator and president and medical director of the Texas Heart Institute. “If we save even one life, it will be worth it,” he said.

Dr. Willerson said his hope was that school districts elsewhere would start to consider detailed screening of children “before they are involved in competitive athletics and probably even as they enter school.”

In the meantime, hundreds of groups like Ms. Varrenti’s have made it their mission to provide free EKGs and heart examinations to young people at community screenings around the country. Parents who are interested in a heart screening can reach out to their family doctors, or find out about free screenings in their area at Web sites like parentheartwatch.org.

“You can either open the dialogue with your pediatrician or look into free screenings,” Ms. Varrenti said. “No one should go through what our family went through.”

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Should Young Athletes Be Screened for Heart Risk?2020-11-25T12:53:33-05:00

Investors Bank Presents Renovated Chatham Branch at VIP Event

2020-11-25T12:50:00-05:00

Investors Bank Presents Renovated Chatham Branch at VIP Event

Investors Bank Presents Renovated Chatham Branch at VIP Event
Bank will honor John Taylor Babbitt Foundation for its Many Achievements
Contact Scott Agnoli, Investors Bank
Published: November 12, 2013, 11:30 AM

Chatham, New Jersey (November 6, 2013) – The dedicated team at Investors Bank’s branch in Chatham Borough will celebrate 17 years of service to the community and unveil its completely renovated banking space during a VIP Event on Tuesday evening, November 12.

Located at 169 Main Street, the Chatham branch will acknowledge its many loyal customers and recognize the alliances Investors has built with local nonprofit groups. For example, the branch supports the Chatham Education and Athletic Foundations, houses of worship, and youth sports leagues. At the VIP reception, the branch will honor the John Taylor Babbitt (JTB) Foundation, which is based in Chatham. The JTB Foundation has achieved notable success building broad public awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and the organization’s board and members of the Babbitt family will attend the event celebrating the Foundation’s achievements.

In discussing Investors role in the community, Chatham Manager Jill Gregg said, “We build relationships here by joining local organizations, participating in their programs and supporting their fundraising efforts. In addition to delivering superior banking services, our mission is to make a positive difference in the community by finding creative ways to assist nonprofits that are helping people in many productive ways.”

During the VIP event, customers, area businesses, and community leaders can talk with the Investors’ team and see the new space. The open-design interior is brighter with a color scheme in keeping with the Investors’ brand. All the elements have been combined to create a relaxed, professional and welcoming feeling in the branch.

Also, the customer seating area is one of the branch’s focal points. A couch and chairs are arranged under a dome with recessed lighting and in front of the Investors Bank Community Wall that features a vintage, mural-size photograph of Main Street circa 1928. Adjoining this area are the offices for customer meetings. In addition, for customers who use the drive-through banking lanes, there is now a 24-hour drive-up ATM.

Commenting on the new space, Ms. Gregg, who joined the Bank when the branch opened in 1996 and has held a variety of positions since then, explained that Investors is making a long-term commitment to Chatham. “We will continue to enhance our facilities and form alliances with local groups that serve the community.”

For examp

le, the branch has an ongoing relationship with the JTB Foundation, which advocates for the installation of lifesaving, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools, athletic facilities and public places. When life-saving defibrillators can be quickly accessed, just about anyone can use the device to aid a person who is having a sudden cardiac incident.

As part of the Bank’s ongoing alliance with the Foundation, the Chatham branch supports the JBT Foundation’s annual fundraisers. Also, employees from the Bank have participated in the organization’s annual Walk With Heart event.

“We are grateful for Investors Bank’s generous contributions to our mission, which is to focus on three goals: Advocacy, Education, and Defibrillators,” said JoAnne Taylor Babbitt, Vice President of the JTB Foundation. Ms. Babbitt’s son, John Taylor, was 16 years-old when he collapsed and died from an undiagnosed heart condition while playing basketball.

Following their son’s death, the Babbitt family and people in the community formed the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation in his memory. One of the organization’s major accomplishments was securing bi-partisan passage by the New Jersey Legislature of a “Good Samaritan” bill, which Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law. The new law applies to individuals who use automated external defibrillators to save lives of people having a cardiac incident. The new law provides immunity from civil liability for untrained individuals who operate a defibrillator in a medical emergency. New Jersey is the 44th state to have this law.

For more details about Investors’ Chatham branch, contact Branch Manager Jill Gregg at 973.701.1400.

To find out more about the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation, visit its website at www.jbtfoundation.org.

About Investors Bank

Investors Bank, headquartered in Short Hills, N.J., is a full-service community bank that has been serving customers since 1926. With over $13.8 billion in assets and a network of over 100 retail branches in New Jersey and New York, Investors delivers personalized services and products tailored to the needs of its customers. For more information, contact Investors at 1.855.422.6548 or visit www.myinvestorsbank.com.

Investors Bank is an equal opportunity lender. Also, individuals can follow Investors Bank on Facebook.

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Investors Bank Presents Renovated Chatham Branch at VIP Event2020-11-25T12:50:00-05:00

New cardiac laws aim to save lives of New Jersey high school athletes

2020-11-25T12:48:55-05:00

New cardiac laws aim to save lives of New Jersey high school athletes

By Matthew Stanmyre mstanmyre@njadvancemedia.com
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

By Sept. 1, every New Jersey high school will be mandated to have AEDs at athletic events across all levels of play — freshman, junior varsity and varsity — and will have to implement more stringent cardiac-related precautions and screenings for student athletes. A coach, designated staff member or certified emergency services provider must also be on site for the athletic events and trained in the use of AEDs.
by Press Release

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New cardiac laws aim to save lives of New Jersey high school athletes2020-11-25T12:48:55-05:00

Chatham Fields are Safer

2020-11-25T12:48:11-05:00

Chatham Fields are Safer

From the Chatham Courier

CHATHAM FIELDS ARE SAFER
John Taylor Babbitt Foundation and joint committee funding
By KATE BREX, Editor
Published: Aug 7th, 6:15 AM

CHATHAM – Borough recreation fields are safer for the installation of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) placed there by the borough’s recreation department and the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation (JTB).

The AEDs were placed at all five recreation fields in the borough.

“We have already installed a good number of AEDs in businesses around town,” said Mayor Nelson Vaughan, who has been trained to use the device. “Now with the addition of these defibrillators at the fields, it will really make a difference. I hope that they never have to be used, but if they are, I hope that they are used effectively. Everyone should be trained in their use.”

The purchase of the devices was a joint effort of the JTB Foundation and the Joint Recreation Committee of the Chathams.
However, the foundation made a substantial donation towards the placement of the AEDs at borough fields as part of its mission to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Both groups worked hand-in-hand with Atlantic HeartSmart AED to complete the project.

“They were critical to the project getting done,” said Joanne Babbitt, vice president of the foundation.

Babbitt, also co-founder of the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation, has always wanted to give back to a community that supported her and her family when her son John Taylor suffered sudden cardiac arrest in 2006.

The foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded in the memory of John Taylor Babbitt, who was 16 when he collapsed and died at a basketball game at St. Patrick’s Church on Chatham Street from undiagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

A resident of Chatham, John Babbitt was a junior at the Pingry School in Bernards Township when he died on Feb. 26, 2006. A 2003 graduate of St. Patrick School, he was a member of the Youth Ministry and a member of the football, basketball, soccer and baseball teams at Pingry.

Babbitt said there was no better way to thank the community than installing devices that could save another young person’s life.

“If it hadn’t been for the people of Chatham, we don’t know where we would be,” she said.

The foundation was begun three years ago to keep “young people engaged.”

The easily reached devices are mounted on a pole. When pulled from the pole, the device emits a piercing alarm notifying anyone within range that something has gone wrong. It serves two purposes, alerting people of an emergency and deterring anyone from stealing the device.

The devices, which cost between $1,500 and $2,000, were ordered through Atlantic Health Systems.

In recent year’s, the cost of the AEDs has gone down and the operating simplicity of the device has gone up allowing almost anyone to help in a dire emergency possibly saving someone’s life before help arrives.

The new generation of Automated External Defibrillators “talks” the user through the process.

Babbitt confirmed that the devices are simpler and easier to handle. She also noted that if a member of the public uses the device, the state’s good Samaritan law would kick in.

“However, you have to follow some steps in order to be protected by the law,” she said.

After discussions with the School District of the Chathams, the school district will also begin placement of units at school facilities Chatham Recreation uses.

“The Babbitt Foundation with assistance from Carol Nauta and Tom Denning have identified several school fields used by both school teams and the recreation department for installation of AEDs,” said Superintendent of Schools James O’Neill. “We have agreed to supplement the ones they are installing by putting an additional one at both Cougar and Haas fields. This is a great initiative and we appreciate the efforts of the Babbitt Foundation to do things to help ensure the health and safety of athletes in Chatham. We currently have AEDs in all of our schools and each nurse, as well as, the athletic trainer also have one each.”

Raising Awareness

The third annual “Walk with Heart” to honor John Babbitt and raise funds for the foundation, was held on Sunday, May 17, at The Pingry School in Bernards Township.

More than 400 students and families from the area participated in the event, which raised more than $45,000 for the foundation. At the walk, representatives from Atlantic Health Systems were available and demonstrated the use of the AEDs.

Babbitt said the foundation has underwritten three American Heart Association certified AED training courses and plans to hold more.

Walk with Heart was sponsored by the foundation and organized by students in The Pingry School’s JTB Heart Club as part of the independent senior project.

The day included a three-mile run, three-mile walk, music, food, and prizes.

The foundation is dedicated to the prevention of sudden cardiac death particularly in student athletes. Current foundation initiatives include supporting defibrillator legislation, raising awareness on the prevalence of sudden cardiac death, and working to increase defibrillator availability on local playing fields.

“John’s sudden loss was shocking and tragic,” said his father David Babbitt. “But it is our hope that through the foundation’s activities we can prevent other families from experiencing the pain of losing a child to this disease.”

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Chatham Fields are Safer2020-11-25T12:48:11-05:00
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