Mass Heartbeat conducts heart screenings for students


Pictured above is an ECG graph, a form of heart screener. WHS students had the option to be screened by Mass Heartbeat on Wednesday, June 13.

CJ Brown and Christos Belibasakis

Local company Mass Heartbeat conducted optional heart screenings for students at WHS this past Wednesday. The organization has now visited multiple high schools, including ones in Natick and Hopkinton.

Mass Heartbeat was created after a student from Hopkinton High School passed away from an underlying heart condition. A group of his friends decided to create a fundraiser in order to invest in ECG, or electrocardiogram, equipment, and to partner with multiple doctors to provide affordable heart screenings that could catch conditions undetectable by a regular doctor’s visit.

Athletic Director Heath Rollins helped organize the event, and he feels that it is important for students to get involved.

“[Mass Heartbeat] is just a little bit more [than a doctor’s visit], a little bit deeper and [it] gives the doctors a little bit more information,” Rollins said. “[It can] potentially find an issue that you couldn’t find at a normal doctor’s office.”

Despite the potential benefits, Rollins expresses that not as many students signed up as he had hoped.

“We [had] over 60 kids sign up [as of Monday],” Rollins said. “I was hoping for a little more than that – maybe over 100. We put 150 time slots in there for people to [fill].”

Nurse Amy Schoeff also contributed to putting together the screening, and she believes there is a good reason for every student to participate.

“There are undetected cardiac arrhythmias that are causing, not in huge numbers, kids to die, so it’s a good thing to know in advance,” Schoeff said. “It’s completely noninvasive, it’s five minutes and it’s worth it. It’s just worth it to have the information.”

Students who were interested registered on FamilyID and made a $35 payment in cash or check to Mass Heartbeat on the day of the screening. Financial aid was available. For more information, please visit Mass Heartbeat or see Rollins or Schoeff.