29 Jan Moving into 2020
What an exciting year 2019 was at the Max Schewitz Foundation thanks to the support of our schools, administrators, volunteers, committed staff and extremely generous donors. Since our inception, we have tested almost 91,000 students and recently set a new record…2,288 students were tested in ONE day! Our equipment is much faster than in previous years, which allows us to test more students in a shorter time period. During first semester, we referred 60 young adults for additional testing. Finding these young adults, most with no symptoms at all, drives us to continue and expand our work.
We’ve recently created an online portal (similar to a physician’s office) for our newly named HeartSmart EKG program. Families will now register their students through our portal at www.HeartSmartEKG.org. This portal will be used for both registration and obtaining results. As with any new software system, we are working out the kinks but it has been a huge improvement to our program.
You may have also noticed we just revamped our entire web site. We wanted to make it easier for everyone to locate information. The home page reflects the number of students we’ve tested, detected and lives saves and has links to quickly register a child for an upcoming screening. We hope you are finding it easier to navigate!
Our premier program, HeartSmart EKG, is now available in half day or whole day screening options, depending on the number of students being tested. If you know a school or organization that is interested in learning about our program, please have them email Kathy@HeartSmartEKG.org.
In order to reach more communities, we are also creating a new program, HeartSmart EKG DIRECT, where we will supply a limited staff for planning, training, testing and results. Our EKG machines will be shipped to the participating organizations. On site echos will not be available with this program. Dr. Eli Lavie, our medical director will continue to handle all EKG interpretations. This program is ideal for screenings outside our normal testing area and smaller screenings. We will be partnering with the WCCF Kai Lermer Foundation to bring screening to schools in Southern Wisconsin. Watch for more details on this exciting program in the spring!
Across the country, we’re also seeing Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) being discussed in the House and new laws being passed to protect more students. Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida and West Virginia have been in the news recently for their efforts to bring more awareness to SCD in young adults.
Overall, EKG screening among young adults is gaining more exposure and awareness. We were pleased to see Dr. Jonathan Drezner, Professor, Department of Family Medicine at University of Washington and Team Physician for the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Reign and University of Washington Huskies created a training video on the recognition and management of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in Athletes. The video was commissioned by the NFL and produced by NFL Films. We share Dr. Drezner’s hope that every parent, teacher, coach, physician, and athletic trainer will watch this video. It is important to know that SCA does not just affect athletes.
We will be testing at seven high schools this spring and always need volunteers. If you’d like to help, please visit our VOLUNTEER page.
Thanks for your continued support! We wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2020!