News article


Aultman College has received a $10,000 grant from the American Red Cross to develop a modular first aid course that’s meant to take less time, while increasing participants’ learning and willingness to help.

Dr. Jeffrey L. Pellegrino, professor and program director of health sciences, and Brian Miller, master certified health educator and adjunct faculty member, are co-investigators on the grant, along with two students who are serving as undergraduate research assistants. The study, occurring this fall, will be conducted in partnership with Canton City School District and Access Health Stark County.

“The current Red Cross first aid course is four hours long, and we need people to leave understanding the key elements and how to put them into practice,” said Pellegrino. Miller added, “When a first aid emergency arises, those first few minutes are critical to improving outcomes and preventing morbidity and mortality. The challenges that lay responders face go beyond knowledge and skills. A new emphasis on personal responsibility and intentions to act is needed to foster emergency helping behaviors.”

The researchers are developing a new, 10-module first aid course using the latest research and international guidelines on first aid education. They will then train at least 40 members of the community in first aid via one of three methods: the new modular course that’s quicker; the traditional, face-to-face course that’s four hours long; or a hybrid course that blends classroom lessons with online game-based curriculum. After the course, they will measure learners’ intent to aid in the event of an emergency to see which teaching method is the most effective.

“This grant offers an exciting opportunity for Aultman College to be the trailblazers at the forefront of a new age of first aid education,” said Miller.

Pellegrino added, “The study is also a fantastic experience for our Aultman College students. They are being trained to teach Red Cross first aid courses and giving back to their community.”