Over 500 of Michigan’s Thumb Area teens ages 13 to 19 received free heart health checks offered by Marlette Regional Hospital and McKenzie Health System, affiliates of United Healthcare Partners, thanks to a unique partnership with the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation, Hurley Children’s Hospital, and Flint Cardiovascular Consultants, PC.
This special program developed by Hurley Children’s Hospital offered an in-depth, noninvasive heart screening that included a medical history, blood pressure check, and an electrocardiogram (EKG). An echocardiogram (ECHO) screening was also performed if needed. The screening looked for evidence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a serious condition that can cause sudden cardiac death in young athletes as well as in students engaging in physical activity or exercise.
Between a one-day offering at Sandusky Community Schools and a month-long screening opportunity at Marlette Regional Hospital, a total of 525 teens were screened representing 38 school districts including some colleges and universities. The Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation challenged the local school districts to encourage their students to take advantage of this opportunity and awarded an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the school with the highest attendance between the two screening events. At the August 28th school board meeting for North Branch Area Schools, Superintendent Jim Fish was presented with an AED device for sending over 100 students from their district to these screening events.
The Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation has spearheaded the screening of more than 2,500 students throughout the State of Michigan and are devoted to helping teens and families detect underlying heart conditions that often go undetected through routine health check-ups. The next free teen heart health check event is scheduled for Saturday, October 14th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fenton High School. Interested teens and families can register by calling 810-262-7123, option #1 or visit www.tommysheart.org.