Join the Promise

October 15, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Breast Cancer

Have you signed up? Race for the Cure, Oct 18th!

cure 2The Knoxville Susan G Komen Race for the Cure is scheduled for Saturday, October 18, 2014. The 5k run/walk is celebrating 18 years and is one of the Knoxville affiliates largest fundraiser, with 75% of all the proceeds staying here in our community. The Knoxville affiliate serves 16 counties in Tennessee, including Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Cock, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Road, Sevier, Scott and Union, providing education, screening and treatment support for those diagnosed with breast cancer. This affiliate plays an important role in our community and needs our support!

Survivor Spotlight – Liza Graves- 18 year survivor, former Lady Vols basketball player, avid runner, true friend

Liza Graves understands the fear of diagnosis and treatments. She was diagnosed in October 1996 at the age of 39. The diagnosis led to a bilateral mastectomy, five to six months of chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery.   As a friend, I’ve watched her offer love, support, and an ear to anyone that she feels needs to hear her story. What a comfort to relate to someone who has been in your shoes, walked your same path and has an amazing spirit.

In her recent interview with the Knoxville News Sentinel, recognizing breast cancer awareness month, Liza explained that her cancer diagnosis helped her prioritize and make better choices. She lives her life with a different perspective as a result of her diagnosis. Things that might have been a burden before she now embraces with open arms, for example milestone birthdays.

Look for her on October 18th at the Race for the Cure in downtown Knoxville. She’ll be leading the pack of survivors, cheering on her “teammates”, fellow cancer fighters and survivors, and mingling with the crowd before and after the race. You’ll feel her spirit and be inspired—we promise!

Join us on Saturday, October 18th at the World’s Fair Park. Registration starts at 6:30am and the 5k starts at 8:30am. For more information go to

Join the promise! Make a difference!

Girls Night Out – CPR Party!

October 12, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, CPR Training, First Aid, Women's Health

Do you love girl’s night out?  How about planning a girl’s night out that could save a life!  Host a CPR party! CPR Choice wants everyone to learn CPR!  Host a party with 8 people and get your class for free!  We guarantee it will be fun and can be done in the comfort of your own home.  Do your friends, family and kids a favor and learn how to save a life!  CPR Choice challenges you to get educated!   Gather your book club, your Mom’s lunch group, your children’s play date group and your close friends & family to schedule a CPR Party or join one of our existing classes as a group.


Cardiac arrests are more common than you think, and they can happen to anyone at any time!  In fact, according to the American Heart Association 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home.  To simplify the numbers, that means 4 out of 5 cardiac arrests happen in your own home and the life you save could be a loved one!  Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but sadly only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.

If you are faced with a cardiac emergency:

  • Immediately call 911.  Give specific details; “I have a male, approx. 46 years old, experiencing chest pain”
  • Start chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute.  Push hard and fast in between the nipples on the lower portion of the sternum.
  • Get the AED.   If you are out in public, look around for an AED.  More and more businesses are adding them to support an emergency.

Having confidence in your ability to perform CPR and to use an AED is the best way to prevent unnecessary deaths. CPR Choice is your source to learn the skills needed to save a life!  It is a very small price to pay versus watching the ones you love pass in front of you. Sign up today!

CPR to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive”

October 12, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training, Hands-Only CPR

The American Heart Association (AHA) has two simple tips for anyone around you that goes into cardiac arrest.  Call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive”.    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR can more than double a person’s changes of survival, and “Stayin’ Alive” has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR (    The 1977 Bee Gees’ song has the perfect beat for performing CPR because the song contains 103 beats per minute.  This is close to the recommended chest compressions of 100 beats every 60 seconds.

This campaign introduced by the AHA has created a series of videos available on YouTube to help spread the word.  Ken Joeng, an actor, comedian and also a licensed physician in CA stars in one of the promotional videos and urges people to pay attention.

CPR courses are so important and it is crucial that every American learn these skills.  Sign up for a class today!  CPR Choice offers classes that are fun and engaging and allow each student lots of hands-on experience.  Do not hesitate to learn CPR, you could make a difference, you could save a life! We offer classes for anyone!  Including: BLS for healthcare providers, Heartsaver CPR & AED, and Heartsaver First Aid.


A Month of Pink!

October 12, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Breast Cancer, Women's Health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! An annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.   The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer. Everyone is affected by breast cancers- men and women, families, care givers, friends, co-workers….Statistically 1 in 8 will have breast cancer in their lifetime.

As most of you are awabreastcancer (1)re the pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons, and the color pink in general, identify the breast cancer brand and express support for woman and men with breast cancer. The first known use of a pink ribbon in connection with breast cancer awareness was in the fall of 1991, when the Susan G Komen Foundation
handed out the pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for
breast cancers.   By 1992, it was adopted as the official symbol of National Breast Cancer Awareness.

A variety of events around the world are organized in October, including walks and runs, and the pink illumination of landmark buildings. For all you sports fans, I love that the NFL joins in too!   They promote breast cancer awareness by incorporating pink on and off the field!

How can you reduce your risk?

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity may increase the risk of developing post-menopausal breast and ovarian cancers. Women who weight 40% or more above normal weight are advised to choose a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits and whole grains and low in processed foods, sugars and meats.
  2. Get fit. Remember moderate exercise also improves the immune system’s ability to protect the body against unhealthy cellular activity. So, you don’t have to do strenuous exercise to see benefits!
  3. Limit alcohol consumption.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Get checked. Women should perform self-exams, get regulator clinical examples and schedule regular mammograms. Early detection is the key and provides the best change against breast cancer.

Talking to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours has had breast or ovarian cancer, can help you both decide when and how often to get a mammogram.

Join us in the effort to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Look for events in the area to get involved in and provide support!

Why should you renew your CPR certification?

September 30, 2014 Travis Smith CPR, CPR Training, First Aid

10628356_927464490603446_2057883816255398546_n (1)Years ago you signed up for a CPR class and you were so proud of yourself for taking that first step in learning the steps to save a life. However, did you know that 50% of those trained in CPR are unable to pass a skills test a year after training? If you are not continually using your skills and performing CPR on a regular basis (i.e., EMT, ER Nurse, paramedic) than chances are that over time, you may forget some of the important stuff! While in graduate school I actually wrote my thesis on customer satisfaction and knowledge retention in CPR classes. I can proudly say that our customers at CPR Choice retain more knowledge than the average CPR student but these skills are IMPORTANT! We are talking about life-saving and the fact is that many people forget important concepts and techniques.

How Long is My CPR Certification Valid?

CPR certifications from the American Heart Association (AHA), Red Cross (ARC) and American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) is often valid for 2 years from the date of issue. Some certification programs can vary, and it’s important that you check with your instructor to make sure you are aware of the expiration period.  Expirations should be listed on your certification card that is given to you the completion of your course.

Other reasons to renew your CPR certificaiton

Another key reason to keep up with your CPR certification is that science and discoveries are always changing and CPR guidelines are continuously updated every few years. It is important to be aware of how treatments have changed and how those changes affect how we perform CPR.  We highly encourage you to re-take a course if your last certification was prior to 2011; as many changes were made at that time. Also by maintaining your certification you reduce your liability if you ever had to perform CPR. See more information about Good Samaritan Laws here.10624853_926170134066215_8747011700374742124_n

Who Needs CPR Renewal?

Anyone who takes CPR should try their best to maintain their certification. For many occupations, such as healthcare providers (anyone that touches a patient), lifeguards, construction & manufacturing, school personnel, fitness instructors and childcare providers, CPR certification and recertification is a requirement for licensing or to meet OSHA standards. It’s imperative that these personnel maintain their certifications at all times. Failing to to insure there is no lapse in certification can result in termination or loss of licensing.


Invest a small amount of your time and money into taking a CPR class.  When you compare that investment to the life you could be saving, there really is no comparison.

CPR Choice offers classes for everyone; whether it is your first time or 30th time.  We promise to make the class comfortable and enjoyable and to give you tips and tricks to retain your knowledge.  100% of our customers say they feel confident to give CPR if needed after our class.  Sign up for a class today!  We offer American Heart Association and ASHI classes including: BLS for Healthcare Provider, Heartsaver CPR & AED, and Heartsaver First Aid.  These classes cover adult CPR, child CPR and infant CPR as well as conscious choking, unconscious choking and how to use an AED.  You won’t regret making the choice to save lives!


CPR Choice supports Glow Trot

September 29, 2014 Travis Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, First Aid

Saturday night the CPR Choice tglow-trot-logo-5eam headed to the 2nd annual Glow Trot 5K organized by Love>Fear & Maryville Vineyard Church. 100% of the funds raised went to support Reach Haiti ministries which runs the Child of Purpose Children’s Village; this orphanage houses 28 children ages 2-18 who would be struggling to survive without our care. Reach Haiti also sets up and supports churches, meets educational needs, trains the next generation of Haitian leaders and much, much more.

The 5K race began at 8PM and we wanted to make sure no one got hurt running in the dark.  We had 3 teams positioned around the course stocked with CPR and first aid supplies in case there was an emergency during the race.  We also provided a First Aid station fully equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and Emergency Oxygen if necessary.  Thankfully, other than a few bad scrapes everyone had a great time and no one got seriously injured.  We were glad to be there to support the cause and to treat a few victims of road rash.  Best of all, it got our team of CPR instructors together for some fun!




Ready, Set, Go!  Experienced instructors ready to give CPR at anytime!

CPR Choice team giving First Aid to a few race participants.

World Heart Day

September 29, 2014 Travis Smith Awareness and Prevention, Heart Health, Men's Health, Women's Health

Every year the World Heart Federation celebrates with millions around the globe for World Heart Day. The World Heart Federation has a mission to “unite its members and lead the fight against heart disease and stroke.” This year they are trying to raise awareness by focusing on creating heart-healthy environments; enabling people to make heart-healthy choices wherever they live, work and play. World Heart Day 2014 is designed to encourage everyone on the planet to reduce their cardiovascular risk, and promotes a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Some quick easy things you can do to improve your heart health:heart_globe

  1. Exercise
  2. Reduce Sodium intake
  3. Quit smoking
  4. Go for a short walk every 2-3 hours (if you have a desk job)
  5. Eat a well balanced diet
  6. Learn CPR

Many around the globe don’t have the freedom to choose to live heart healthy; some don’t have space to exercise, some don’t even know where they will get their next meal.  However, some things we can control and we are able to make choices about our health. The World Heart Federation is urging people to make a heart choice, not a hard choice and sign their petition to call on national and international leaders to recognize the global burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and to prioritize the need for heart-healthy environments wherever people live work, or play.


Watch their video here: Make the Heart Choice

Because cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s number one killer, killing 17.3 million people per year, we encourage you to improve your heart health and learn CPR.  CPR paired with an automated external defibrillator (AED) can greatly increase someone’s chance of survival if experience cardiac arrest.  Heart disease can hit anyone at anytime!  Be prepared to help a loved one, co-worker, or friend if the time ever arises and they need CPR.  

Make a heart choice, an easy choice and use CPR Choice to learn today!  We offer the best CPR classes in East Tennessee.  Proudly serving Knoxville, Maryville, Oakridge, Lenoir City, Sevierville, Johnson City, Morristown, Kingsport and Bristol!  Find a CPR course near you! 

Why Your Company should have an AED

September 28, 2014 Travis Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training

OnSite_Open_with_Case_M5066AThe AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) has a proven track record of saving lives in public places as well as in the workplace.  AEDs are designed to administer a potentially life-saving electric shock to the failing heart in order to restore a regular rhythm. The fact that most of us spend majority of our time within the work place makes it increasingly likely that if we were to suffer from cardiac arrest, we would do so at work. Having an automated external defibrillator available within the workplace, could assist in saving someone’s life. The following are several reasons why every company should have an AED.

Cardiac arrests are sudden, and usually fatal
Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, any time!  Each year sudden cardiac arrest strikes almost 400,000 thousand people in the United States alone.  Most sudden cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals every year and many come without any warning signs. They happen when the electric impulses within the heart become irregular and erratic.  Sadly, fewer than 5% survive, often because EMS cannot reach them in time. Victims must be treated with in minutes; providing life-saving shocks from an AED and proper CPR.

Chances of survival decrease every minute
After someone has suffered from a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by approximately 10% with every minute that passes. Although you may feel as though waiting for 911 to arrive and use an AED is a safer course of action, the reality is that the quicker an AED is used along with proper CPR, the more likely that a regular heart rhythm can be restored. Having a readily accessible AED within a company’s building could give the victim the best possible chance of survival.

Learning how to use one is easy
In the case of an emergency, absolutely anyone can learn to use an AED.  AEDs are for the ordinary person in the extraordinary moment!  CPR Choice offers CPR and AED training on-site at your workplace.  We can train ANYONE, including the environmental service staff, warehouse worker, office employees, or even the CEO of the company. By having an AED available within your workplace, a company allows their employees and customers the opportunity to increase their safety by ensuring help can be given immediately, if a cardiac incident were to take place.

aed caseYou can’t hurt someone or worsen the situation by using an AED
AED’s are awesome.  They contain an internal EKG monitoring system that will read the victim’s heart rhythm and will only deliver a shock if medically necessary.  Attempting to use an AED will not cause any damage to the victim, as it can only give you more information than you already have. This means you don’t have to worry about accidentally shocking a colleague’s if they don’t need it.

It’s always better to be prepared
Many business owners that I talk to will say, “We’ve never had anyone go down on the job and odds are it’s not going to happen”.  Well, do you have a fire extinguisher at work?  How about a security alarm system or camera?  Have you ever had a fire or burglary?  Hopefully you never experience a medical emergency, fire or burglary but having the tools to deal with the incident is necessary just in case of an emergency. Having an AED at your worksite will mean that you are prepared to save a customer or employee’s life should the worst happen.

CPR Choices offers training and sales of AEDs to businesses. We currently offer on-site training classes in Knoxville, Maryville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City, Bristol, Johnson City, Kingsport, Morristown and surrounding areas of East Tennessee. Call for pricing 865-548-1500 or visit

aed components


October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month!

September 28, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, Awareness and Prevention, CPR, Heart Health

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40 in the United States and other countries. In the U.S. alone, approximately 424,000 people of all ages experience SCA each year (more than 1,000/day) and 19 out of 20 victims die.


SCA is a sudden or unexpected pulseless condition attributed to the cessation of cardiac mechanical activity.  It is usually caused by ventricular fibrillation, an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system.  When SCA occurs, blood stops flowing to the brain, the heart and the rest of the body and the person collapses.  In fact, the person is clinically dead and will remain so unless someone helps immediately.

A heart attack and SCA are not one in the same.  A heart attack occurs when part of the hearts blood supply is reduced or blocked, causing the heart muscle to become injured or die.  A heart attack victim is awake and may complain about symptoms.  The SCA victim is not awake and will need immediate attention.

SCA can strike anyone, anytime.  Seconds count-timely and appropriate care will substantially improve survival rates.   In the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest:


  • Call 911.  Give specific details; “I have a female, approx. 45 years old, experiencing chest pain
  • Tell someone to get the AED.
  • Begin doing chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute.  Push hard and fast in between the nipples on the lower portion of the sternum.

What you can do to prepare:

  • Learn CPR and AED functionality.  Get your friends and family involved too.  Remember, over 80% of cardiac arrests occur at home, which means a life you save could very well be a loved one!
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Access– spread the word on why having an AED at your work, school or community center can be the key to survival.  CPR Choice sells AEDs and provides hands on training, as well as guidance on internal procedures for the best utilization.

Having confidence in your ability to perform CPR and to use an AED is the best way to prevent unnecessary deaths. CPR Choice is your source to learn the skills needed to save a life!  It is a very small price to pay versus watching the ones you love pass in front of you. Sign up today!


Preparing Children for Disasters

September 28, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, First Aid, Preparation and Disaster Planning

September is National Preparedness Month and families with children are the most vulnerable during a disaster. Children have distinct healthcare requirements in regard to their anatomic, physiologic, developmental and psychological characteristics.  For example, children are more sensitive to smoke inhalation, hypothermia and shock.  In emergencies, children are more prone to shock due to smaller blood volumes and smaller fluid reserves.  They are also more likely to sustain serious injuries with blood loss and trauma to the body as a result of their smaller size.   As a result, it’s critical to have at least one person in your household that has basic lifesaving skills and CPR Training.


When preparing your house for potential disasters keep your little ones in mind. Here are a few helpful reminders:

  • Talk to your children about the dangers of disasters that are likely in your area and how to prepare for each type.
  • Make sure they know where to go in your home to stay safe.
  • Teach them how to recognize danger signals. For example, smoke detectors, fire alarms- what do they sound like and what to do when you hear them.
  • Additions for your emergency kit:
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, diapers, baby food)
    • Games and activities for children
    • A few of your child’s favorite books, crayons an paper
    • Favorite small toys like dolls or action figures
    • A board game, deck of cards or puzzles
    • A picture of your family and pets
    • Include medicines specifically for your children in the event of sickness or injury
  • Turn off the TV or watch news coverage with them and talk about it afterwards.
  • Keep your family together as much as possible. And calmly and firmly explaining the situation. For example, “tonight, we will all stay together in the shelter”. This will alleviate worry and avoid anxiety. .
  • Encourage children to talk. Let them talk about the situation and ask them to describe their feelings. Help them learn to use words that express their feelings, such as happy, sad, angry, mad, and scared. Use drawing or painting as an activity to help them tell their story.
  • Go back to your former routine as soon as possible.

Take the time this month to prepare your family!   Communication and preparation, especially for smaller children, will alleviate additional stress in the event of a disaster. America’s PrepareAthon! Is scheduled for September 30th, people in all 50 states will come together to take actions around the hazards their communities could face with drills, conversations, and exercises in their schools, workplaces, houses of worship and organizations. To learn more you can go to Start preparing now!

Why Should You Choose CPR Choice?

CPR Choice, Knoxville Real Testimonials

"Best CPR Class I've ever attended."

"This is the BEST CPR class I have ever been to. As an RN, I’ve been to lots over the years. HIGHLY recommend this one!"

"I highly recommend CPR Choice for healthcare provider certification! It was easy to schedule and Cheryl kept the class interesting and informative. This was by far my best experience taking a CPR class. Thanks Cheryl!"

"I have been taking an annual CPR class for about eight years now, and never before now have I felt like I had such a complete grasp on the material."

"Best CPR class I have taken as an RN in 10 yrs! The instructor, Kristy, was the best instructor! Systematic approach to teaching with tons of energy and obvious interest in teaching CPR. Thank you!"

"I'll be back in two years for renewal! Thanks CPR Choice!"


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