Hawaii schools receive new tools to help save lives

Defibrillator donation by HHSAA and HMSA headed to 95 schools

The Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) is teaming up with Hawai‘i Medical Service Association (HMSA) to distribute 320 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to 95 HHSAA public and private high schools statewide. The schools were selected based on their student population and how many AED devices they already have.

AEDs can help restore a normal heart rhythm during a sudden cardiac arrest by sending an electric shock to a victim to restore a heartbeat. According to the American Heart Association, in one year alone, 475,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest. Globally, cardiac arrest claims more lives than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined.

“Providing these life-saving tools in our schools, and making sure that people are trained to use them, creates more opportunities to save lives,” said Michael Stollar, HMSA president and CEO. “We’re honored to be a part of the proactive work that HHSAA is doing to support the health and well-being of our local communities.”

Once the AEDs are distributed to schools and training is conducted by HHSAA, the life-saving devices will be available for coaches and athletic trainers to use during Hawaii high school sporting events and practices.

“The safety of everyone participating in and attending school sporting events is what matters most,” said HHSAA executive director Christopher Chun. “AEDs have already played a vital role at schools for more than a decade and we’re happy to supply them to Hawaii high schools.”

In 2006, under the direction of HHSAA former executive director Keith Amemiya, HHSAA and HMSA first donated and distributed AEDs to Hawaii high schools.

About HMSA

Caring for the people of Hawaii is our promise and our privilege. Working together with employers, partners, and physicians and other health care providers, we promote well-being; develop reliable, affordable health plans; and support members with clear, thoughtful guidance.

HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawaii’s population. As a recognized leader, we embrace our responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of our community.

Headquartered on Oahu with centers and offices statewide to serve our members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.


Founded in 1956, the Hawaii High School Athletic Association is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational athletic organization exclusively dedicated to serving 96 public and independent member high schools statewide, as they work cooperatively to support and promote athletics as part of the high school education program. As the umbrella organization of high school athletics, the HHSAA operates 44 state championships in 18 different sports, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, in addition to providing professional development opportunities for coaches and athletic administrators.