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Sending your kids to camp is an annual experience for many Canadian parents. At the same time they can’t help but worry about them being away – often out in a rather remote location — and how long it might take an ambulance to arrive if a medical emergency should happen.

Now the Ontario Camps Association and The Mikey Network have come together, and are working to bring more peace of mind to the camping experience for everyone.

Each is an organization that cares about the health and welfare of our children and our community, and now they have announced a new initiative to help place MIKEY defibrillators in camps across Ontario. As part of the Mikey Young at Heart program, The Mikey Network is now making AED defibrillators available to all OCA member camps at a special reduced price.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the OCA to install MIKEYs across the province’s summer and year-round camps, all while providing greater peace of mind to campers, parents, administrators and staff,” said Eva Szypulska, President of The Mikey Network.

“After seeing a close friend pass away from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, we made a pledge to provide the Canadian public with the necessary tools to save lives. This announcement moves us one step closer to achieving that goal.”

Heather Heagle, Executive Director of Ontario Camps Association, is equally committed to the program. “Our member camps are each unique, and together they serve a diverse community,” she says. “But they are all committed to providing the safest and happiest camping experience possible for Ontario kids, and having a MIKEY at each camp will help us achieve just that.”

Andrew Martin, Owner-Director of Camp Can-Aqua, is ahead of the curve and already has a defibrillator at his camp on the shores of Beaver Lake in Cardiff, Ontario.

“Camp Can-Aqua has been fortunate enough to have a MIKEY AED on-site since 2010,” says Martin. “As standards pertaining to CPR continue to change and evolve to include the use of AED’s, having the unit on hand was an essential step in managing our health and safety protocols. It also provides staff and parents with peace of mind in knowing that if anyone within our camp community suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest, we have the tools readily available to assist.”

“In addition to staff being trained on the proper use of the AED, Can-Aqua now teaches campers enrolled in certain swim training levels how to follow the systems clear and simple steps. AED training and awareness is something we think all organizations should be actively taking part in.”

Although, thankfully, Camp Can-Aqua has never needed to use the unit, they feel better knowing it is ready and on hand should an emergency arise.

Founded in the 1930’s, the Ontario Camps Association is dedicated to enabling children to learn new skills, make new friends and have fun in a safe, healthy and caring environment. The association has more than 600 members, including over 400 unique Ontario camps that are large and small, co-ed or single gender, located in remote settings or downtown buildings, use rustic or modern facilities, offer specialized or general programs, and serve a broad spectrum of special needs.

The Mikey Network was founded in 2003 after the tragic passing of Heathwood Homes partner Michael Salem. His passing could have been prevented if there had been a defibrillator nearby and so, compelled by the astounding number of tragedies that occur at home or in public places because of the lack of available defibrillators, Heathwood decided to take action and establish the charitable organization.

Over the past decade, The Mikey Network has raised more than $3 million by placing over 1,600 MIKEYs in public places across Canada. The foundation has also helped train 12,000 people in CPR/AED and saved a total of 23 lives to date. Now, thanks to The Mikey Network and OCA, the beat goes on…and will continue to do so at camps across Ontario.


For information, contact:
Miriam Lash
The Mikey Network

Download Mikey Camp Press Release – PDF


Variety Village Mikey AED

Toronto Emergency Medical Services Safe City Program and The Mikey Network announced that a woman in her 60’s is alive today because bystanders were willing to step up to help someone in need, and a MIKEY (AED) was available when she needed it.

The woman is a Scarborough resident and regular pilates class attendee at Variety Village on Danforth Avenue.

It was 1 p.m. on April 8, 2014 and she had just finished her class and was walking to her car when she dropped to the ground having suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Bystanders rushed to her aid, immediately called 911 for the paramedics and started cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  The Variety Village MIKEY (automated external defibrillator – AED) was also retrieved and a life–saving shock administered before paramedics arrived to provide additional care.

The woman, in her early sixties, is now recovering in hospital.

This is the first cardiac arrest save by bystanders in the City of Toronto in 2014, and the nineteenth Mikey Network save since the program’s inception. It is also the fourth save at the Variety Village location since their  MIKEY AED was installed.

Toronto EMS Safe City Program Commander Gayle Pollock said, “It is very exciting to announce our first save of 2014 and a great reminder of the importance of bystanders stopping to help someone in medical distress.  The help the bystanders gave to this woman was a critical contribution to saving her life.”

“This is the proof that AED’s in public places can perform miracles. They are simple to use  as the AED “speaks” to the person trying to help with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. Training helps but you don’t have to be trained to use one.” said Morty Henkle, Executive Director of The Mikey Network.

AEDs save lives. That is why it is our mission at The Mikey Network to place our MIKEYS (public access defibrillators) in as many high-risk locations as possible.


The Mikey Network’s Young At Heart program, which places MIKEY defibrillators in schools, is being expanded to the Peel District School Board, the second largest school board in Canada.

WHERE: Applewood Heights Secondary School (gym) – 945 Bloor St. E, Mississauga, ON L4Y 2M8
WHEN:  Wednesday, February 5, 2014 – 1 pm sharp

  • Heathwood Homes, founder of The Mikey Network, will present a cheque for $160,000 to kick-start the first year’s Mikey Young At Heart three-year program initiative in Peel Region.
  • Peel Regional Paramedic Services will demonstrate a “live save” using a MIKEY defibrillator.
  • 12-year-old Mikey Student Ambassador, Emily Herbert, will speak about how she is benefiting from a MIKEY defibrillator.

Peel District School Board

  • Sue Lawton, Trustee Wards 3 & 4, Peel District School Board
  • Tony Pontes, Director of Education, Peel District School Board

Peel Region

  • Dipika Damerla, MPP, Mississauga East-Cooksville
  • Hazel McCallion, Mayor, City of Mississauga

The Mikey Network

  • Hugh Heron, President, Heathwood Homes; Chairman, The Mikey Network
  • Bob Finnigan, COO Housing, The Heron Group; Director, The Mikey Network
  • Morty Henkle, Executive Director, The Mikey Network


tcgpr (The Communications Group Inc.)
David Eisenstadt / Gea Koleva, 416-696-9900 ext. 36 / 26 /
Peel District School Board
Kayla Tishcoff, 905-890-1010 ext. 2239
School Communications Specialist

TORONTO – October 29, 2013…As part of an ongoing commitment to support The Mikey Network, the management and staff at The AUTO|ONE Group recently helped raise $11,500 from their customer appreciation ‘James Bond’ event which featured a silent and live auction event where over 400 clients, friends and family attended at their Toronto offices.

AUTO|ONE Group is one of Canada’s largest and most customer-focused sales and leasing operations, specializing in all makes, models and years of vehicles. The company also has Commercial Leasing, Custom Sourcing and Vehicle Detailing/Service facilities in Toronto and Vancouver. For more information, visit

Auto One Mikey network Donation

Shown (l-r) Kevin Ledgister, AutoIOne Palladini Sales & Leasing Vice President – Inventory & Fixed Operations; Mikey Network Chairman Hugh Heron, Executive Director Morty Henkle; and Mark Forrester, AutoIOne Palladini Sales & Leasing. (Photo: Nicola Betts)





The Mikey Network, founded in 2003, is a registered Canadian charity working to create public awareness and provide education about heart healthy lifestyles. To date, over 1,400 MIKEY defibrillators have been placed across Canada, and 16 lives have now been saved. The Mikey Network was named for Mike Salem, a valued partner at Heathwood Homes and The Heron Group who experienced sudden cardiac arrest and died on a golf course in 2002. Other Mikey Network programs include: Mikey’s Kids – The Mikey At Home Program, The Mikey’s Young At Heart School Defibrillator Program, Mikey On the GO, Mikey Cops Are Tops. For more information or to donate,




CAMBRIDGE, ON – APRIL 10, 2013 … The Mikey Network’s ‘MIKEY’, a public access defibrillator, has saved the life of a 47-year old Cambridge resident, Richard Goodwin, who suffered sudden cardiac arrest while exercising.

“Richard regularly exercised at the Mississauga YMCA (325 Burnhamthorpe Rd. West). Trained staff performed CPR and applied the MIKEY defibrillator.  After one shock, they were able to get a heartbeat on Mr. Goodwin, who was starting his workout, when he collapsed. He was then transported to the Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre for treatment, and is expected to fully recover,” said Mikey Network Chairman Hugh Heron.

In 2003, the ‘MIKEY’ was one of the seven defibrillators donated to seven YMCA locations (including Mississauga) in the Greater Toronto Area.

Since its formation, The Mikey Network has trained over 11,000 people in CPR/AED and has placed more than 1,350 MIKEYs in schools, community centres, churches and synagogues, arenas, senior’s centres, sports facilities, major attraction venues, libraries and businesses.