Student Athletes to Receive Free Comprehensive Cardiac Screenings

Posted on Feb 24, 2016

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Media contact:

Angela Lombardi



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, February 27

 Student Athletes to Receive Free Comprehensive Cardiac Screenings

Pittsburg, CA – Sutter Health is partnering with the Darius Jones Foundation to provide free comprehensive cardiac heart screenings to hundreds of student athletes at Pittsburg High School Saturday, Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The routine medical evaluation an athlete has to obtain before they participate in competitive sports, typically wouldn’t detect an underlying heart condition that could put these young athletes at risk for sudden cardiac arrest,” says Vipul Gupta, M.D., Sutter East Bay Medical cardiologist. “This screening will examine young athletes’ heart to identify any pre-existing heart conditions that could potentially increase an athlete’s risk of sudden cardiac death during vigorous physical activity and/or competitive sports.”

The screening is painless and noninvasive (no needles or X-ray exposure). It includes a health history form completed by a parent or guardian, an electrocardiogram (EKG) that reads the heartbeat and, if necessary, an echocardiogram that captures an image of the heart. The estimated cost is $2,000 per student athlete.

“I did not want Darius’ death to be in vain and I wanted to understand why it happened and not let it happen to another child,” says Beverly Bradley. “The mission of the Darius Jones Foundation is to inform parents of how rare and precious our children’s gifts are. Early detection is prevention and by screening young hearts and providing CPR and AED training we can protect them.”

According to statistics, one high school aged athlete suffers a Sudden Cardiac Arrest every three days in the U.S! The leading cause of death in young athletes on the playing field is an undetected heart condition. The best way to detect these heart conditions is through a heart screening using EKGs and in some cases an Echocardiogram (ultrasound) of the heart.


About Sutter Health Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other healthcare service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest-quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient-safety technology. Sutter Health cares for more than three million people in 100 Northern California communities. For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health network visit: | | |


About Darius Jones Foundation

In October 2009, Darius Jones suffered sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while doing what he loved best: competing in a youth basketball game. He was fifteen years old. Darius’s death exposed a need which is now being met by the foundation that bears his name. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors, we seek to reduce the disparity in cardiac arrest deaths in communities of color. In Contra Costa County, the death rate from heart disease in African-Americans is 258.8 per 100,000, compared with 151.9 for whites. Public awareness campaigns for the recognition of the signs of sudden cardiac arrest and the application of CPR have been widely embraced in white communities, while the African-American and Hispanic communities historically have displayed distrust in medical establishments. By conducting community-level outreach using a neighborhood, block-to-block approach, we aim to inform African American, Hispanic, and White families of the threat of sudden cardiac arrest and teach them life-saving ways to respond. We strive to provide services to the most underserved areas, and the credibility of Darius’ story allows us to have the unique ability to connect with communities of color.

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