Bay Path College Physician Assistant Students Volunteer Cardio Screenings for KEVS
Every year over half a million Americans die from heart-related complications. For school-aged children, cardiovascular disease and cardiac complications are their second leading cause of death. While each death is a tragic loss, increasingly these events become newsworthy as the syndrome known as Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) particularly affects seemingly healthy young athletes.
In 2011, local teenaged athlete Kevin Major was one of those heartbreaking stories. He was a competitive hockey player since the age of three, and was a member of the Springfield, Mass. Rifles rugby team. His condition, known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, is considered the primary cause of SCA in young competitive athletes. Before his untimely death, Major experienced no symptoms.
In his memory, the KEVS Foundation, a nonprofit based in Southwick, Mass., organizes and underwrites free cardiac screenings for young people in our community. For the students in Bay Path College’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Class of 2015, this organization has been one of the locally-based healthcare resources with whom they have been proud to partner.
For the second time, the Class of 2015 has donated their time and expertise to volunteering at a screening clinic for the KEVS Foundation. On Saturday, March 30, students at Granite Valley Middle School in Monson, Mass. received EKG screening, family histories, and wellness checks performed by Bay Path’s PAs, giving the young athletes the competitive edge to fight SCA.
Hoang Trinh G’15 is the president of the Class of 2015, and on behalf of his fellow students, he expressed their enthusiasm for the day’s clinic. Speaking with WWLP TV-22, who covered the event, he said, “The first time we assisted with the KEVS Foundation was during PA Week last October,” he said. Since then, his classmates have formally studied cardiology, “We can now read EKGs in greater depth—we applied what we’ve learned and know that we are making an even greater impact.”
“Each of us comes from different locations around the country, and some of us will continue on to other regions after we graduate,” he added. “But while we’re all in western Mass., our program at Bay Path is strongly committed to helping out here, in regional hospitals or with organizations that are doing amazing work in the community.”
“To be a part of what KEVS is doing is fantastic,” he said. Helping screen adolescents to stem the tragic incidents of SCA, Trinh and his classmates are taking that philosophy to heart.
Click here to veiw the WWLP TV-22 news story.