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Advocate BroMenn Medical Center bringing free heart screening to Fieldcrest & Olympia schools; volunteers needed

Monday, September 11, 2017 - Posted 10:04:23 PM

NORMAL, ILL. - Through a gift from Advocate Charitable Foundation, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal offers Young Hearts for Life®, a free cardiac screening program that works with area high schools to screen for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a genetic heart abnormality present in approximately one in 500 people.

The screening is coming to Fieldcrest High School in Minonk on Wednesday, Sept. 20, and to Olympia Middle School and High School in Stanford on Tuesday, Oct. 3.  The screenings are open to all Fieldcrest and Olympia students ages 12 and older. 

Parents can get more information and register their son or daughter online for the screening at All students under the age of 18 must be registered by a parent or legal guardian prior to the screening date.

Adult volunteers are needed to help with the screenings. Full training will be provided – no medical background is needed. Volunteers assist with tasks such as registration, waiting area assistance, electrode & lead placement, data entry, quality review and more.

To sign on as a volunteer, please contact Carolyn Oleson at 309.268.2437, or sign up online at (Fieldcrest) or (Olympia).

Each week, sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 30 young adults in the United States. The Young Hearts for Life® program was developed by Chicago-area cardiologist Dr. Joseph Marek with the goal of identifying high school students at risk for sudden cardiac death.

"HCM is the most common cause of sudden death in young adults, comprising more than one-third of cases," says Dr. Dory Jarzabkowski, a cardiologist with Advocate Heart Institute at BroMenn Medical Center. "It enlarges the left ventricle of the heart, which can trigger fatal heart-rhythm disturbances, particularly during exercise."

An electrocardiogram (EKG) can detect certain impulse patterns or "markers" associated with HCM that a stethoscope cannot.

The screening consists of a painless, three-minute EKG. Trained volunteers attach electrodes to the student's chest and limbs in preparation for the EKG. Boys and girls are screened in separate areas for privacy. The EKG monitors the electrical activity of the heart and prints out information about the heart rate and rhythm. The print-out is then read by a cardiologist, who interprets the results.

More information about the screening can be found at



Contact:         Eric Alvin

Public Affairs


Nancy Reiter: Fieldcrest is only the High School. Not 12 and older that is only Olympia.