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Thanks to a successful CPR/AED program sponsored by the Telluride Foundation's Local Health Initiative (LHI) and the Telluride Association of Realtors (TAR), Telluride recently earned the American Heart Association's designation as a "heart safe" community.

Mark Rosenthal MD, a part time resident and cardiologist, provided vision for the project and with funding assistance from The Telluride Foundation acquired and installed 32 AEDs on the mountain and throughout the community. TAR funded a scholarship program for CPR/AED certification which made the classes available for $15 to area residents.

"Over the past 18 months, over 350 residents have been certified in CPR and use of Automatic Electronic Defibrillators (AED)," said Gary Steinbach, LHI Administrator.

Kevin Dunkak, owner of CPR World, a local CPR training firm conducting the community education component of the project, reports that in addition to the regular community CPR/AED classes, he has conducted certification classes for high school students, Rotary Club members, day camp staff, teachers, guides and transit employees.

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the cultivation and promotion of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, the Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants that serve the people living and/or working in the Telluride region for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region. For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit