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Health

Morris Hospital seeking volunteers needed for youth cardiac screening

Cardiologist Dr. Mark Marek (back), founder of Young Hearts for Life, a program similar to Rhythm of Our Youth, conducts a cardiac screening.
Cardiologist Dr. Mark Marek (back), founder of Young Hearts for Life, a program similar to Rhythm of Our Youth, conducts a cardiac screening.

Morris Hospital will be holding its free Rhythm of Our Youth cardiac screening program for students at Minooka High School. south campus on February 5 and Feb. 6 and Minooka High School central campus on Feb. 20 and Feb. 21.

The purpose of the screening is to prevent sudden cardiac death in area high school students by identifying those who may have undiagnosed existing cardiac abnormalities. Screenings are typically held during physical education class or study hall.

The screening will also be offered for students at Premier Academy in Morris on Feb. 13.

On the screening days, a team of specially trained volunteers from Morris Hospital perform electrocardiogram (ECG) screenings free of charge to students who have received parental permission to participate.

Results are sent home to the student’s parents and are not shared with the school.

According to Jori Christensen, director of cardiovascular services at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers, the EKG screening offered through Rhythm of Our Youth can offer clues to underlying heart problems.

Rhythm of Our Youth launched in 2016 with funding provided by generous donors to the Morris Hospital Foundation.

Over the past two years, volunteers from Morris Hospital have screened more than 5,000 students at Dwight, Gardner-South Wilmington, Morris, Newark, Ottawa Marquette, Ottawa, Reed-Custer, Seneca, Wilmington and Yorkville high schools, along with Yorkville Academy and Premier Academy.

The screening is brought to each school every other year.

Parents should complete an electronic consent form prior to the screening day at their child’s school by going to morrishospital.org/rhythmofouryouth.

Volunteers are needed on each screening date and must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check and attend a mandatory one-hour training session. Call 815-705-7022 or sign up at morrishospital.org/rhythmofouryouth.

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