Health is the Beating Heart of a Successful Education

At Oak Knoll, ensuring the health and well-being of our students is the key to achieving their highest potential in our overall academic and social-emotional program. That is why our school nurses arranged a partnership with Who We Play For, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing anyone the opportunity to get screened for a potential cardiac condition. That partnership allowed families to sign their students up for evaluations on campus throughout the day on March 5, 2024.

The school offered screenings to any student between the ages of 10 and 18, and 68 students took advantage. 

“We were so excited to be able to bring cardiac screenings to our Oak Knoll Community,” said School Nurse Danielle Peckham, RN. “Knowing the statistics on sudden cardiac arrest, we knew this was something we needed to bring to our students. This quick and easy test can detect a possible life-threatening condition that a sports physical can not.” 

SCA is a life-threatening condition that causes a person’s heart to stop abruptly and unexpectedly and is usually caused by an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system. Although relatively rare in children, SCA is still the No. 1 cause of death on school campuses in the U.S. It is the leading cause of death in young athletes, accounting for 75 percent of all athlete-related deaths.

With 1 in 300 students having a life-threatening heart defect, this non-invasive screening is a tremendous pre-emptive tool. The process was straightforward and quick, taking only 5-7 minutes of our students’ time away from their regularly scheduled classes. Families will get their results within ten business days. 

A “heartfelt” thank you to our fantastic school nurses Danielle Peckham, RN, and Rose Puleo, RN, along with Assistant Athletic Director Dr. Melissa White and Athletic Trainer Allie Montefinese for coordinating this valuable service to our families.