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Mercy Health Partners announces 2012 Free Heart Screenings for West Michigan High School Student Athletes

Mercy Health Partners and West Shore Cardiology have teamed up for the second year to provide free Student Athlete Heart Screenings for West Michigan High School student athletes. In 2011, Mercy Health Partners screened more than 1000 high school students, identifying four with potentially life-threatening conditions. Three of the four students have undergone procedures to correct their conditions. In addition, 56% of the students were identified with hypertension and were referred for follow up care.


The high school student athlete heart-screening program attempts to identify pre-existing heart conditions, which may place a student at increased risk of provoking disease progression or even sudden cardiac death due to participation in physical activity or sports competition.


Mercy Health Partners has partnered with William Beaumont Hospital near Detroit and contributes screening results to William Beaumont Hospital’s student athlete heart screening research project.


Dr. Daniel West, of Mercy Health Partners’ Westshore Cardiology said “A lot of our motivation for this program is due to the tragic 2011 death of Fennville basketball athlete, Wes Leonard. His death has caused parents across the nation and especially in West Michigan to have a great deal of anxiety surrounding the potential for a serious heart-related complication in their own children.”
Blair Moreau, MHP’s director of Heart and Vascular Services, shared “We are excited to offer these screening again in 2012. Screenings take just ten to twenty minutes to complete. About ten days after each screening, parents are notified if their student athlete is at low-risk or if their child should be referred for a potential concern.”

Student Athlete Heart Screenings are completed in a six-step process that takes place at Mercy Health Partners’ Hackley Campus’ Youngberg Auditorium. The screening includes (1) check in; (2) completion of a healthy heart check history questionnaire and blood pressure check; (3) 12-lead EKG; (4) physician review; (5) an echocardiogram, if indicated; and (6) check out.


Screening Dates: Wednesday, June 13; Wednesday, June 27; Wednesday, July 11; Wednesday, July 25; Wednesday, August 8; and Wednesday, August 22.


Time: All sessions are held from 6:00-9:00 p.m.


Location: Mercy Health Partners’ Hackley Campus, 1700 Clinton Ave, Muskegon, in the Youngberg Auditorium.

MPH Student Athlete Heart Screenings are free and open to any West Michigan high school student athlete, age 13 to 18 (date of birth between January 1, 1993 and December 31, 1998). Each student must have a parent or guardian’s consent to undergo the screening.


Parents or guardians must register their student athletes by visiting or Students must bring both the signed consent and signed healthy heart check history questionnaire to the appointment (available online at Parents are welcome to accompany their student athlete.

For questions, contact the Mercy H.E.A.R.T. Center at 231-672-3648.


Mercy Health

Dedicated to providing more personalized care with easier access to specialists and a seamless patient experience, Mercy Health is a multi-location health care system serving West Michigan with five hospital campuses, 58 physician offices, 1,174 physicians, over 800 hospital beds, and 7,200 associates. Mercy Health includes all Mercy Health Partners hospitals and physician offices in Muskegon, Shelby and Norton Shores; Saint Mary’s Health Care locations;  and Advantage Health/Saint Mary’s Medical Group. The system provides services throughout West Michigan including specialties in oncology, cardiology, and orthopedics. Mercy Health is a member of Trinity Health, the fourth largest Catholic health care system in the country.


Mercy Health Partners
Mercy Health Partners, a member of Mercy Health, is a teaching hospital and the second largest health system in West Michigan with more than 4,000 associates, and some 21,000 inpatient discharges and 137,000 emergency/urgent care visits annually. The system has four hospitals and 375 physicians and offers a number of exclusive specialty physician care services for the region.

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