Free youth heart event screens more than 300 kids and young adults


More than 300 children and young adults, ages 12 to 25, attended the free youth heart screening event at Jesuit High School last month. Hosted by the Kyle J. Taylor Foundation (KJTF), in collaboration with UC Davis Health and Project ADAM Sacramento, the all-day event helped to identify youth with an undiagnosed heart condition.

A young person receives an electrocardiogram.
A young person receives an electrocardiogram.

“Our first heart screening event was very successful,” said Rebecca McCormac, Project ADAM Sacramento coordinator. “As a result of this endeavor, our community is more educated about heart health and sudden cardiac arrest preparedness.”  

McCormac shared that 307 young people from all over the Sacramento region came to receive a cardiac risk assessment, an electrocardiogram (EKG), a physician review and CPR training.

An EKG is a simple and painless test that records the heart’s electrical activity using small sticky electrode patches attached to the skin of the chest. Structural and electrical heart issues that cause sudden cardiac arrest in young people can often be seen in an EKG. 

Forty people received follow-up echocardiograms on-site, a procedure in which an ultrasound probe is placed on the chest and pictures are taken. Many participants were referred to their primary care physician or a specialist for follow-up care.  

Heather Siefkes
Annual physical examinations and sports pre-participation physical exams can miss about 85 to 90% of issues that can cause sudden cardiac arrest in youth.” Heather Siefkes

UC Davis Health physicians at the event included:

The UC Davis team was joined by other physicians from the community who volunteered their time, reading and reviewing EKGs and referring for echocardiograms.  

“Annual physical examinations and sports pre-participation physical exams can miss about 85 to 90% of issues that can cause sudden cardiac arrest in youth,” Siefkes said. “It’s a rewarding feeling to have offered this life-saving screening to the community for free.”

One in 300 youth has an undiagnosed heart condition that puts them at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

About the Kyle J. Taylor Foundation

The Kyle J. Taylor Foundation was started in 2018 in honor of Kyle Taylor, who passed away in February of 2018 from sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 18.  Kyle was always a loving, kind, spirited, healthy young man with no known heart issues.  His parents wanted to honor Kyle’s legacy by bringing awareness to sudden cardiac arrest in youth, the steps to prevent it, and how to respond to it.  By doing this important work, the foundation’s mission is to help in preventing another family from losing their child or loved one to sudden cardiac arrest. To learn more about the foundation, visit the website at

About Project ADAM Sacramento

Project ADAM is committed to saving lives by preventing sudden cardiac death where young people learn and play. It is not enough to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) in the building - having a documented plan, a designated and prepared response team, and a regularly practiced emergency response drill are critical to success. Project ADAM provides the foundation for schools and community organizations to develop their program by providing resources, education and training. Project ADAM can help your school become a Heart Safe School. Visit the website for more information at