Indian Prairie Educational Foundation Grant-Funded School Cardiac Screenings

Apr 6, 2024

Life-Saving ECG Screenings for Heart Health

Indian Prairie Educational Foundation

Amount Awarded: $6,875 | Project Status: Completed Spring 2024

Will County allocated $6,875 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support life-saving cardiac screenings at schools in Indian Prairie School District 204. We are excited to share the outcomes of The Indian Prairie Educational Foundation (IPEF)’s grant-funded Free High School Cardiac Screenings. IPEF’s mission is to enrich education for all students by supporting their academic, artistic, emotional, and physical needs, and it has been the independent 501(c)3 charity partner of Indian Prairie School District 204 since 1988. Thanks in part to this grant of $6,875, in early 2023 IPEF was able to bring back the Free Cardiac Screening program to Indian Prairie School District 204 after being forced to break their biennial cycle during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over 400 parents and community members volunteered to help implement and run this program in 2023, and their next round of free cardiac screenings for District 204 high school students will be in the 2024-2025 school year.

According to IPEF leadership, “Parents and students alike would like to express their sincere gratitude to the grant providers for helping to make these life-saving heart screenings possible.”

Life-Saving Heart Scans

Thanks to the grant funds, IPEF was able to once again ensure that all IPSD 204 high school students were afforded the opportunity to have a potentially life-saving heart scan. In the winter and spring of 2023, 4,791 high school students received free ECG screenings thanks to the grant, their donors, and their partnerships with the Young Hearts 4 Life foundation, Edward-Elmhurst Healthy Driven, and International Paper. Of those students screened, 32 were flagged with previously undiagnosed heart conditions.

IPEF and District 204 are committed to avoiding the preventable tragedy of sudden cardiac death in students, which kills over 2,000 people under the age of 25 per year. Their overall goal is to prevent all of their high school students from suffering from an incident of sudden cardiac death due to an undiagnosed issue. This program provides free cardiac screenings to identify students at risk for sudden cardiac death that are not detected in a normal student physical. Since 2009, 34,292 heart screens have been funded by IPEF for District 204 students, and 380 students have been referred to seek further testing with their personal physician. These screenings are offered biennially, allowing all of their high school students to have access to this life-saving program two times during their high school career.

“The Indian Prairie Educational Foundation is incredibly grateful for this support from ARPA and Will County that enabled us to bring back these life-saving screenings to our district’s high school students. These cardiac screenings are costly when done privately and are beyond the financial reach of most of our district’s low-income and homeless families. Grants like these allow IPEF to ensure that all District 204 high school students are being served by this program, regardless of income or insurance. There are some things you simply cannot place an economic value on, and a child’s life is one of them.” – Executive Director Trudie Ranson

Key Results

students given free ECG screenings due to grant

previously undiagnosed heart conditions flagged at this year's screening

free heart screenings provided since 2009