Reviving A Hockey Legend. Mission: Communicate! newsletter, December 2005

Mission: Communicate! )
  • Reviving A Hockey Legend
  • Valek & Co. Expands Health Care Work
  • Great Communicator Spotlight: Hubert Humphrey
  • What Do You Think?

  • Dear Guest,

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!


    Reviving A Hockey Legend
    Max Achium 4

    Max Achium hockey players (l-r) wing Ray Valek, center Rich Polarek & defenseman Read Boechel, with a Defibtech Lifeline AED. Max Achium players have suffered five cardiac events during or after games since the club began in the 1970s.

    At the Downers Grove Ice Arena, there's an "old-timers" hockey club named after centerman Max Achium, who, according to legend one fateful evening, skated toward the goaltender on a breakaway with 1,999 career goals to his credit.

    Seeing an open five hole and confident in his shot, Max pulled his stick back - and suffered sudden cardiac arrest at that very moment. Knowing he would die playing the sport he loved, Max mustered his remaining energy and, with his dying breath, fired a slapshot. The startled goalie allowed Max's final shot - and 2000th goal - slip by.

    Today, however, due to advances in medical technology, mythical Max would most likely have lived to tell the tale of his great achievement. With the Defibtech Lifeline AED (automated external defibrillator) now deployed at the ice arena, Max could have been revived by his fellow hockey players. The AED was jointly donated by Defibtech and Max Achium right winger Ray Valek, whose company provides consulting services to Defibtech.

    Five Max Achium (Latin for "Great Aches") club members have suffered cardiac events during or immediately after games since the hockey organization for men age 35-plus started in the 1970s. "Unlike Max, all five survived - and two of them are still playing with us," said Max Achium's grand "poohba" and ice arena owner Dick Glassford. "It's good to know we have an AED now, in case it happens again."

    About 150 Lifeline AEDs will be deployed at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games facilities in Torino, Italy. AEDs revive victims of sudden cardiac arrest caused by ventricular fibrillation. National health experts estimate that sudden cardiac arrest kills over 400,000 people in the United States each year. Studies show that if victims are defibrillated within a minute or two after arrest, more than 70 percent survive. If defibrillation is delayed for more than 10 minutes, only 5 percent live, making immediate access to AEDs vital.

    Valek & Co. Expands Health Care Work
    Valek logo

    Valek & Co. is currently working on projects for various health care organizations. For the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), we are writing a series of speeches and a script for the society's 2006 Annual Conference and Exhibition in February. For the College of American Pathologists, Valek & Co. is creating patient information fact sheets about different types of cancer. And for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), we are developing introductory communication about the new Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety.

    Great Communicator Spotlight: Hubert Humphrey

    Reader David Murphy e-mailed us to nominate Hubert Humphrey for Great Communicator Spotlight. He wrote: "His memorable quotations are exhortations to the decency of who we ought to be and how we ought to behave for the welfare and benefit of society."

    Humphrey served as a United States senator from Minnesota and as our nation's vice president before narrowly losing the 1968 presidential election to Richard M. Nixon. This persuasive and effective communicator said, "I believe that each of us can make a difference. That what is wrong can be made right. That people possess the basic wisdom and goodness to govern themselves without conflict."

    What Do You Think?

    Tell us about someone you admire as a great communicator. We may include your response in an upcoming issue.

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