Podcast: Darren Sudman, Simon’s Heart

Darren Sudman, CEO and Co-Founder of Simon’s Heart, and also Simon’s Dad

Listen in to this week’s Sports Philanthropy Podcast as we are joined by Darren Sudman, CEO and Co-Founder of Simon’s Heart, and also Simon’s Dad. Darren sits down with our host Roy Kessel and shares his painful and first-hand insight into the importance of heart screenings and the critical need for having AED devices in all sports facilities, schools and building.

Simon’s heart has successfully lobbied for and been instrumental in passing the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act in 14 states. Here is a link to the states that have passed the law. Will you join us in pushing to get your state to pass this crucial legislation. A sample version of the Act can be found here.

Important facts which many of us do not know:

  • 10-15% of SIDS deaths are a result of sudden cardiac arrest
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the #1 cause of death in adults
  • Your heart will beat over 2 billion times in your lifetime
  • Over 8 million kids participate in interscholastic sports
  • Less than 100,000 of those kids have had a heart screening
  • AEDs are very easy to use
  • Are you aware of what your community is doing in this area? Conduct an audit!
Darren Sudman, CEO and Co-Founder of Simon’s Heart, sharing his insight with our host, Roy Kessel, on Episode 16 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:40 Background of Simon’s Heart and reason for launching Simon’s Heart
  • 02:10 Free heart screenings
  • 04:10 SIDS deaths with 10-15% from sudden cardiac arrest
  • 05:25 Reason for focus on middle school and high school populations
  • 06:40 Google Alerts about terrible dealhs
  • 07:30 Strategy in founding Simon’s Heart and growth of organization
  • 09:00 Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act and legislation
  • 18:10 Why legislation is a Marathon, not a race
  • 20:30 Percentage of athletes with heart screenings
  • 24:00 Insurance Coverage for heart screenings
  • 25:10 Number 1 cause of death in adults
  • 26:20 Purpose of heart screenings in youth
  • 29:00 Steps to take to reduce the risk
  • 34:00 Costs of obtaining an AED
  • 37:30 Using an AED
  • 40:30 The next 12 months for Simon’s Heart
  • 43:00 Conducting an audit of your community

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s Podcast. For more information about Simon’s Heart, visit their website at www.SimonsHeart.org or contact us so that we can help put you directly in touch with Darren.

So many hearts to protect and so many lives to save!!

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.
Sports Philanthropy Network

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