“Hey, Hey, Are You OK?”

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Students Teach “Texas Two Step” -- Hands-On Compression CPR to Save Lives

Date: February 12, 2019
Students teaching Texas Two Step CPR Technique
Students teaching Texas Two Step CPR Technique
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin 
Director of Communications 

New York, N.Y. – “Hey, hey, are you OK?” was the chant heard over and over in the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine cafeteria in Harlem on Sunday, where medical students taught children and adults how to perform a simple two-step method of CPR on a loved one or stranger who might be having a cardiac emergency.

If no response to the question and a couple of taps on the shoulders, the visitors learned they should perform these two simple steps:  first, call (or have someone else call) 911; second, press hard on the center of the person’s chest with the palms of the hands - nonstop - until help arrives.  In their lessons, they did compressions on mannequins while singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, to help keep up a pace of 100 beats per minute. That’s how fast is recommended to sustain blood and oxygen flowing to brain.

“You can save someone’s life,” said seven-year-old Parker, who came with her mom, India, to learn the training.

Known as the “National Texas Two Step”, the training was part of the fourth annual “National Texas Two Step: CPR Save a Life Campaign”, offered in 16 states across the country in partnership with HealthCorps, a nonprofit founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz, and the health nonprofit First Impact.

The five-minute training sessions are being offered in New York at only three sites this year. In addition to TouroCOM, the free instruction is taking place on Sunday, Feb. 17 in Nyack and in White Plains, by students from New York Medical College, part of the Touro College and University System.

Multitude of CPR Steps No Longer Needed

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, with about 610,000 people succumbing to it every year. There is a need for the public to understand that they need not perform many steps in order to help someone with a cardiac emergency, like checking for a pulse, listening for breathing or engaging in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, the students said.

There were a lot of steps we used to have to check,” said Victoria Koukoulas, a student in TouroCOM’s Master of Science pipeline program who is certified in CPR. “It’s different for the lay person.” Ms. Koukoulas said the American Heart Association made changes in their recommendations a few years ago that simplified to two steps what a bystander should do to help.   

“Ms. Koukoulas said she got involved in the training because, having become CPR-certified, she became aware of its importance and wanted to help the technique gain some traction.  “I [realized] how much it can save lives and I wanted to get that word out there and hopefully pass on a new skill that will better the community as a whole.  I feel like I’ve made a difference and it feels good to give back.” 

Student volunteers who taught Texas Two Step CPR Technique, with Dr. Tipsuda Bahri (kneeling), TouroCOM faculty member who organized event
Students with Dr. Bahri

“We are very proud of our students,” said Dr. Tipsuda Bahri, professor and chair of community service committee and chair of the Basic Biomedical Science Department at TouroCOM. “It’s important [for] our community to have people trained in two-step CPR and be able to help others.  It’s very beneficial for kids and adults to know. I am hopeful we will be able to do this again next year.”

Parker’s mom, India, had nothing but praise for the event.  “It was really a great idea [and] to have it here in the community.  You never know, you might have to try to save someone’s life. We are going to go home now, right Parker? We’re going to show my other daughters what we learned here today. You never know.”

About the Touro College and University System

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,200 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 30 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to www.touro.edu/news

About HealthCorps 

HealthCorps is a 501( c)(3) that works in high need high schools to give teens tools to improve physical and mental health so they can learn to live more productive and happier lives.  Founded in 2003 by Dr. Mehmet Oz, HealthCorps’ mission is to strengthen communities with the most innovative approaches to health and wellness to help the next generation be more resilient, both mentally and physically. HealthCorps students exercise more, eat better and practice positive thought. 

About First Impact

First Impact is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing leadership and organizational skills for young healthcare professionals through community service.  Founded in 2018, the group provides mentorship for the creation, publicity, funding, and implementation of a community service project. By supporting motivated innovators and creative thinkers, First Impact hopes to mold the leaders of tomorrow’s world.