Waldwick HS Offers Heart Screening for Freshman
By Christina Hernandez
Waldwick Suburban News
Friday, February 19, 2010
Waldwick - Waldwick High School Principal Kevin Carroll said the Class of 2013 would be the first in Bergen County to participate in an in-school heart screening next month. To conduct the screening, high school officials have partnered with hospital, county and local organizations, including the Waldwick-based Sean Fisher Memorial Foundation, which is named for a 13-year-old boy who died from heart failure while performing football practice drills two summers ago. Carroll said freshmen were chosen to participate in the health screening program not only because of budget constraints, but the constitute what would have been Sean's graduating class. The free program is open to all ninth-graders who attend Waldwick High and want to be checked for high blood pressure or heart ailments, such as murmurs or irregular rhythms.
A pediatric cardiologist at Hackensack University Medical Center will review each student's results and will, in turn, send them back to the high school. Parents must sign a release to have their child participate in the program, which is expected to be held during school hours next month. A date for the program hasn't been scheduled.
James Fisher, Sean's father and the co-founder of the Sean Fisher foundation, said the foundation contributed about $20,000 to the cost of leasing heart screening machines from CardiacScan Imagining and paying for a physician's services.
"There is no harm in doing a test like this," he said. Fisher said he was unsure of the total cost of the initiative, but said hosting such a program for all of the students in the school would have been too expensive. Fisher said this initiative is the first of its kind being held in schools across the state. "If we can save one life, one kid," he said, "that's the goal."
In addition, Carroll said a doctor from Hackensack Medical Center was expected to speak about healthy living and heart disease to high school students this month. The assembly was postponed due to weather, and Carroll said it would likely be held next month.
"I am thankful that this is coming to fruition," Sean's mother, Sheila, said of the program. "I just wish kids get involved with this program" to become more aware of their health conditions.
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