Heart health screening offered to student athletes

A medical test that could prove to be life-saving is available this month in Flower Mound courtesy of Frontera and Walgreens.

Heart screenings will be offered to area athletes and students every Saturday and Sunday in June at the Walgreens at FM 2499 and Flower Mound Road, and Frontera Co-Founder Nate Nelson said he encourages young people to get the test.

“Over the past few years, we have heard the tragic stories of seemingly healthy students dying on the playing field; their lives cut short because they were living with undiagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – a disease causing thickening of the heart muscle,” Nelson said.

“There are often no signs or symptoms of HCM, the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest in these young students. However, HCM can be detected through heart screenings such as an EKG and echocardiogram.

“At Frontera, we realized that we were in a unique position. We offer these potentially lifesaving heart screenings, in addition to other diagnostic testing services, to more than 2,000 physicians throughout Texas and Oklahoma.”

Frontera’s services are mobile, which allows the company to bring them to local communities, and the charge for the test is only $75 per athlete.

“Each student will receive a resting EKG and an echocardiogram, a sonogram of the heart, that can detect the thickening of the heart muscle, or HCM,” Nelson said. “Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian… and each heart screening is read by a board-certified cardiologist, and the results will be emailed to parents within three days.”

Heart screenings are provided every Saturday and Sunday in June between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and will last approximately 20 minutes.

Frontera partnered with Bryan Erwin, head football coach at Marcus High School, to get the screenings set up for his players to get this program up and running.

Erwin said he believes it is a great service that Frontera and Walgreens are providing and said he believes it is very important that athletes take advantage of what is being offered.

“We are very grateful to Frontera and Walgreens for providing this heart screening service for our football players,” Erwin said. “The concern has always been there, but the resources and the technology have not been there in the past. It is only logical that we take advantage of the technology and resources that we have at our disposal to ensure that our football players are healthy when they take the field.”

Nelson echoed these sentiments and said his desire is that students and parents understand the importance of making sure athletes are in good physical health before taking the field of play.

“Our hope is to raise awareness of HCM and the importance of being tested,” Nelson said. “Ideally, these heart screenings would be a requirement for students as part of their annual physical examinations.

“We need to do all that we can to ensure our students are healthy, and that their parents have peace-of-mind of knowing that their students can safely participate in athletics, band, or any other physical activity.”

Visit www.teamfrontera.com for more information on testing and services provided by Frontera and visit walgreens.teamfrontera.com to schedule an appointment for a heart screening.

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