Students at Warren Township High School in Gurnee can undergo free or low-cost cardiac screenings next month as part of "Screens for Teens," a program coming to the O'Plaine Campus on March 1, and the Almond Campus on March 8.
The event is sponsored by the Lake Bluff-based Max Schewitz Foundation, which provides high-quality, low-cost cardiac testing. The test costs $15 per student, but those with free and reduced lunch will be tested at no charge.
Testing will occur during physical education, health, driver's education or study hall periods. Almond Campus students without those classes will be tested during 8th period.
All families will receive the results of the screening by email.
"High school is an ideal time for students to have a baseline EKG [electrocardiogram] screening of the heart's function since the greatest risk of sudden cardiac death is between ages 17 and 22," Mary Beth Schewitz, executive director of the Max Schewitz Foundation, said in an announcement of the testing. "It is quick and painless and can detect many potentially life-threatening heart conditions."
Parent volunteers are needed to help run the screening, since the program relies on parents as the primary labor source for performing the EKGs. Parent training will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the O'Plaine Campus gym and March 7 at the Almond Campus field house.
"We are extremely grateful that the Max Schewitz Foundation will be hosting the 'Screen for Teens' events at both of our campuses," Warren Superintendent John Ahlgrim said in a news release. "The opportunity to have screenings provided for thousands of our WTHS students is a true blessing for our parents and community."
The Max Schewitz Foundation was created after Schewitz, a Lake Bluff resident, died suddenly in 2005 at the age of 20 from an apparent heart irregularity, having shown no prior signs of heart disorder.