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Metro Health Hospital Foundation Launches School Challenge

Posted: February 29, 2012

The Metro Health Hospital Foundation and 105.3 FM are launching a high school challenge to raise funds to provide free heart screenings for student athletes in the community.

Schools in the greater Grand Rapids areas will compete with one another in the “King of Hearts Challenge” to raise money for community heart screenings for student athletes. Schools are encouraged to register for the challenge and the public is invited to attend the special kick-off party being held on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at the Metro Health cafe at 2 p.m.┬áJared Veldheer, an offensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders and graduate of Forest Hills Northern High School, will join Metro Health for the party.

Schools that register for the challenge will have the opportunity to raise money through t-shirt sales. T-shirts will cost $10 a piece. Schools are also encouraged to be creative and come up with additional ways to raise money for the challenge.

For each $100 a school raises, that school will recieve one entry into a drawing for first, second and third place winners. The more money the school raises the greater their chance of winning a prize in the drawing. The first place winner will receive an acoustic concert from Travis and Hunter of We The Kings, a visit from Veldheer and free heart screenings to 80 student athletes from Metro Health, all at their school. The second and third place winners will be provided with an automated external defibrillator, or AED, as well as free specialized training classes from the Wes Leonard Heart Team.

“EKGs are not routinely performed as part of the cardiovascular screening done at a child’s sports physical, but recent evidence suggests they should. The additional cost, however, is often difficult for families to afford,” said Dr. Ed Kornoelje, sports medicine physician at Metro Health. “Yet, as we remember the shocking death of Wes Leonard last year, cardiologists and sports medicine physicians around the world have suggested heart screenings including a baseline EKG and ECHO, if necessary, may help identify those with cardiac issues that place them at higher risk for sudden cardiac death and serve as an important preventative measure.”

“The King of Hearts Challenge is aimed at helping to prevent the sudden cardiac death of a student athlete by providing more students with EKGs to detect those students who are at risk.”

The King of Hearts Challenge will run Feb. 29 through April 20. To register, visit metrohealth.net. Schools can still register any time after the kick off date.



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