For the first time in two years Project Heart Start is hosting an event right here in Rio Rancho on June 18 from 8 to 11 a.m. at Cabezon Park.

The program consists of watching a four-step video and then practicing on dummies provided by the program.

The project aims to have more capable bystanders to perform CPR and more Automated External Defibrillators available so people don’t die before they reach the hospital.

 “Three hundred thousand people suffer from Sudden Cardiac Arrest every year in the US, and only 10 percent survive,” said Lovelace Cardiologist Dr. Barry Ramo, M.D., who is the founder of the project.

According to the New Mexico Heart Institute Foundation, 80 percent of Sudden Cardiac Arrest emergencies happen outside of the hospital, making the bystander the first responder until medical help arrives. 

Dr. Barry Ramo M.D. specializes in cardiology. He has researched extensively on Cardiac rehabilitation and Coronary Artery Disease.

“The amount of heart attacks is much greater since the start of COVID,” said Ramo, “COVID-19 can cause inflammation of the heart.”

Ramo also emphasizes that neighbors and colleagues can be life-savers in instances of cardiac arrest. 

“It really is a selfless act to just learn the basics of saving someone’s life,” he said.


Dr. Barry Ramo’s prescription for a healthy heart:

  • Maintain a healthy diet or preferably the Mediterranean diet 
  • Exercise (this can be as simple as walking)
  • Reduce stress (such as meditation or herbal therapy)
  • Keep track of cholesterol and other numbers like weight
  • Heart medication should be taken regularly