Hard Hats with Heart Raises Awareness for High Risk Workforce and Raises Funds for Research

The 2019 American Heart Association’s (AHA) “Hard Hats with Heart,” Tuesday, June 4, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at Ascent Lounge in Time Warner Center, has been scheduled to coincide with National CPR Awareness Month to build awareness about the critically important life-saving technique and raise funds for research. It is the New York area’s second annual event focusing on workers in the building trades, the most at-risk population for heart attack and stroke. According to the Association, research from 2013 to 2015 shows approximately 211,000 construction workers (1 in 25) were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

This year’s Honoree, former NFL New York Giant James P. “Jim” Burt, is spearheading a comprehensive awareness campaign through guest appearances and outreach to his expansive network of fans, friends and colleagues. The 2019 co-chairs are industry leaders James A. Pirot, Managing Principal/Project Management, Cresa, and Tommy Dwyer, Executive Managing Director, Clune Construction Company. Top sponsors include Clune Construction, Cresa, Northeast Technology Partners, Lane office, and Phelps Construction.

Points out Mr. Burt, “As with football, construction is a rough-and-tumble world. But while players have constant health monitoring, the average construction worker may not, so it’s incumbent on us to alert this population about live-saving resources.”

“We saw a need to bring information about heart disease and its risk factors to the construction industry,” says Kathy Kauffmann, American Heart Association Senior Vice President, Greater NYC/Long Island. “More than a fundraiser, ‘Hard Hats with Heart’ is a networking event that brings together executives from construction and real estate companies, contractors and subcontractors to help us build a healthier New York.”

Together, the group has committed to raise funds to train 90,000 individuals in hands-only CPR by 2021. Many risk factors of cardiovascular disease have been attributed to the building trades population, according to AHA statistics, including:

  • Obesity: one out of four construction workers has a body mass index of 300 or greater;
  • Tobacco use: one out of four construction workers uses tobacco;
  • Lack of activity: half of all construction workers don’t get enough exercise;
  • Diabetes: one out of 25 construction workers has diabetes.

“Approximately 2,300 Americans die from cardiovascular disease every day,” adds Mr. Pirot. “In the event of cardiac arrest that occurs outside of a hospital, if there is one person who knows CPR, the chance of survival and returning to work may increase by nearly 40 percent.”

More information about the program, event and sponsorship are available at http://tristatehardhats.heart.org or by contacting Alissa.Kawahara@heart.org.