Got word over the weekend that Linette Derminer, executive director of Parent Heart Watch, will leave the organization next month. Derminer was one of the founding members of the truly grassroots PHW, the leadership of which had all lost children to sudden cardiac arrest. Ken Derminer, whose face prominently graced the cover of AB for an October 2005 feature on automated external defibrillators, was 17 when he died during football practice in June 2000.
With Linette Derminer at the helm, PHW created a national database of SCA cases mainly from newspaper sources, which while not exhaustive was used to demonstrate the prevalence of the problem. Derminer was instrumental in expanding Ohio's pre-participation physical examination form, and in getting legislators to appropriate tobacco settlement money for the large-scale purchase of AEDs.
Derminer says it's "the right time to move on and pursue other interests" - understandable, given that she has spent many years now helping others avoid the same tragedy she and her family have endured. We wish her well.