b'CARES 2023 Annual ReportA Year in ReviewDear CARES Community,As we reflect on the past year, we are proud to report significant strides and important new partnerships that have propelled our mission forward, advancing CARES and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) care across the nation.October 1st, 2023, was the initiation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) CARES Expansion and Modernization Grant under the Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy (CAROL) Act (2023-2027), marking a pivotal moment. This Congressional appropriation has enabled CARES to embark on a transformative journey, extending our reach from 34 states to eventually encompass all 50 states. This expansion ensures that measurement and improvement initiatives are more widely accessible to communities nationwide. Integral to this endeavor is the implementation of the Resuscitation Academy and National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) CPR LifeLinks programs, designed to enhance the efficacy of cardiac arrest response and treatment, ultimately leading to more lives saved.November 1st, 2023, was the commencement of the CARES software modernization campaign, heralding another significant milestone. Over the course of 24 months, our Next Generation CARES Software Platform will be developed, aimed at enhancing our end user experience and integrating advanced reporting and mapping features by the fall of 2025. Concurrently, we remain steadfast in our commitment to addressing disparities in cardiac arrest care, prioritizing communities with the greatest need.In alignment with our dedication to community engagement and empowerment, our continued collaboration with partners at the American Red Cross (ARC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have been invaluable. Together, we are collaborating to ensure free CPR training can be made available in communities identified as high-risk, employing a data-driven approach to maximize impact. This united effort echoes the success of past campaigns, such as the ARC Centennial campaign for drowning prevention, and aligns with the AHAs Nation of Live Savers program, further amplifying our collective efforts to save lives. We are also grateful for new liaison members joining the CARES Oversight Board representing the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) (Dr. Lindsay Weaver), National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) (Dr. Katherine Hohman), American Public Health Association (APHA) (Dr. Celeste Philip), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (Dr. Leith States). Furthermore, the transition of states to the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) version 3.5 marks a significant achievement in our data collection efforts. By harmonizing CARES and NEMSIS v3.5 data elements, data can now be uploaded to CARES at the state-level, facilitating national expansion with both currently participating and new states. Initial pilot states include Maryland, Montana, Iowa, South Dakota, and Wyoming. This transition to state upload streamlines data management and empowers stakeholders to leverage data-driven insights to target communities where the need for cardiac arrest intervention is most urgent.As we embark on the journey ahead and begin the 20th year of CARES we extend our deepest gratitude to all our partners, supporters, and stakeholders who have played instrumental roles in these achievements. Together, we are making substantial progress in improving cardiac arrest survival rates and ensuring that more OHCA patients receive timely and quality resuscitative efforts.Respectfully,Bryan McNally, MD, MPH Executive Director CARES Professor of Emergency Medicine Emory University School of Medicine Rollins School of Public Health 6'