More than 250 high school students in Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 participated in a low-cost voluntary heart screening thanks to a partnership with Northwestern Medicine during the first week of American Heart Month.
With a parent’s permission, any student at Woodstock or Woodstock North High School was eligible to take an electrocardiogram conducted by a Northwestern technician during physical education or study hall periods.
The results will be analyzed by a pediatric cardiologist, who will determine whether further screening is warranted. Parents will be notified of the EKG results either way.
Lisa Tate, District 200 director of nursing and health services, said the screenings went smoothly at both schools. A total of 148 students took advantage of the Feb. 4 screening at Woodstock High School while another 105 were screened Feb. 7 at WNHS.
Students were only required to have their parents fill out consent forms and pay $5 for the screening. The tests normally cost $85 at a healthcare facility and generally are not covered by health insurance.
“Youth screenings are a very important part of what we offer to students from baseline concussion testing for student athletes to EKG screenings,” Tate said.
“EKG screening is important since cardiac conditions can go undetected. Kids might feel absolutely normal without realizing there’s an issue. The EKG test can be a valuable tool to identify abnormalities.”
District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan said the high school communities appreciate the partnership with Northwestern. “We’re pleased to see so many parents taking advantage of this valuable opportunity,” he added.
Tate said many parents said they were grateful for the opportunity. Following the screening, students brought home postcards describing the process of how they’ll be informed about results.
“Megan Weber and the Northwestern staff members were very professional and had a very good system in place to move the students through the testing and get them back to class in a very timely fashion,” Tate said.