Free Heart Screenings for LBHS Students

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In anticipation of heart screening day at Long Beach High School, Heart Screen New York representatives Karen Acompora and Melinda Murray led a presentation for parents on Sept. 18 prior to Back to School Night. In the high school auditorium, they discussed the importance of heart screenings for the early detection of cardiac irregularities, with the goal of saving lives. 

Board of education trustee Sam Pinto, who is also a CPR instructor, introduced the guests, and Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics Arnold Epstein stressed the significance of this opportunity. A grant valued at $400,000 from Heart Screen New York, Saving Lives through Early Detection program will offer free screenings to all Long Beach High School athletes and other students ages 12 and up on a first come, first serve basis. Approximately $1,000 worth of medical consultations and tests will be provided at no cost to families or the district, thanks to doctors who volunteer their time. 

Ms. Acompora and Ms. Murray shared their own personal experiences, having both lost their teenage sons to cardiac issues during sports. They explained that in some cases, underlying heart conditions can be identified by screenings and subsequently treated to prevent tragedies.  
“Karen and Melinda have taken horrible tragedies and turned them into an incredible opportunity for other kids,” Mr. Epstein said. “I cannot thank them enough.”

According to Heart Screen New York, screenings of the heart are the best way to detect many pre-existing and potentially fatal disorders and can identify potential risk factors for coronary heart disease later in life. The program further emphasizes that the inclusion of a resting 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) in the cardiovascular screening of youths greatly increases the sensitivity needed to detect potentially lethal cardiac conditions. Integrated screening programs utilizing ECG, echocardiogram, detailed physical evaluation form and family history offer an early opportunity to reliably identify youths at risk. Early detection can reduce the rate of sudden cardiac death in youth through appropriate medical intervention. 

The screenings, which will be simple and noninvasive, will take place on Oct. 26 in the high school gym. Medical personnel will be on-site to consult with students, conduct the tests, summarize results and make additional recommendations. A total of 400 spots are available, and registration is open to athletes first. It will be open to other students in the upcoming weeks. Those who wish to partake in the screenings may register and complete a packet. Please visit to download materials and access registration links.