History of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association
The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) was founded and incorporated in 2005. It is a nonprofit tax exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code. SCAA is an outgrowth of the pioneering work done by the National Center for Early Defibrillation (NCED), a unit of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
The impetus for NCED was the evident and urgent need to broaden public access to defibrillation -- the first line of response to save the lives of those who experience sudden cardiac arrest. In 1998, Dr. Vince Mosesso and Dr. Paul Paris, emergency physicians and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, proposed the expansion of a successful pilot program on the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to provide consultation and support to local police departments and other non-traditional providers interested in establishing AED programs. At the same time, the Medtronic Foundation, a supporter of AED programs in numerous metropolitan areas throughout the United States, envisioned a national center of excellence dedicated to improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Working together, a new center was established at the University of Pittsburgh with Dr. Mosesso and Dr. Paris serving as Medical Director and Associate Medical Director respectively. Over the course of several years, NCED provided the most comprehensive approach to implementation of AED programs and expansion of public access to defibrillation.
In 2003 NCED launched a Survivor Network and an Ambassador Network and decided to take a broader look at its mission to include all Sudden Cardiac Arrest issues including ICD therapies. As part of this examination, a decision was made to re-launch as an independent organization --the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association -- governed by its own Board of Directors coming out of the former Survivor and Ambassador communities.
Today, SCAA carries forward the original mission of NCED to broaden public access to early defibrillation and has expanded its efforts to include public awareness of SCA, its prevention and treatments for those at risk, and advocacy for a wide range of issues related to SCA.