EVENT: Point Pleasant Borough High School Athletic Physicals & Cardiac Screenings
WHEN: Wednesday, June 11th (Females) | Friday, June 13th (Males)
TIME: 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Point Pleasant Borough High School Nurse’s Office
Significant changes are coming to Point Pleasant Borough High School’s athletic physical process that will affect all prospective student-athletes who plan on participating in any scholastic sport during the 2014-2015 school year. This, according to Point Pleasant Borough School District Athletic Director Christopher Ferrone, who said that the changes were made in compliance with the new Scholastic Student-Athlete Safety Act, signed into law by Governor Christie last year. The Act, establishes a standard of consistent measures for school districts to follow that will help ensure the health of student-athletes.
“In accordance with the new legislation, New Jersey school districts have replaced prior physical forms with a new state-issued pre-participation physical evaluation form, which was developed collaboratively by a group of six American pediatric and sports medicine societies,” said Mr. Ferrone. “In addition to the new forms, the law also stipulates that districts must include educational pamphlets regarding sudden cardiac death in student athletes in sports physical packets, the pamphlets must be signed by student-athletes and their parents or guardians.”
The new law also requires all medical professionals, who administer student physicals, complete a Student-Athlete Cardiac Screening professional development module that must be verified by New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education.
“Sudden cardiac death in student athletes is a very serious issue, and I applaud the State for developing such a comprehensive campaign to address its’ occurrence,” he said. “To complement the State’s efforts, and to further ensure the safety of our student-athletes, the district has partnered with the Matthew J. Morahan II Health Assessment Center for Athletes at St. Barnabas Health Systems in a pilot program that integrates free cardiac screenings into our high school’s pre-participation physical screening process.”
Under the pilot program, high school student-athletes receiving their physicals at the school will have the opportunity to receive a free cardiac screening, performed by medical personnel from St. Barnabas Health Systems. The cardiac screening includes a blood pressure evaluation and an electrocardiogram, or EKG, which is a non-invasive method of measuring and recording the electrical activity of the heart. The data is reviewed in correlation with information compiled from the student’s health history and cardiac screening forms, and forwarded to a pediatric cardiologist for consultation. If any anomalies are discovered, the pediatric cardiologist will then confer with the student’s pediatrician.
“The updated forms in tandem with the free cardiac screening opportunity offered at our school will result in a streamlined and efficient integrated screening protocol that compiles our student-athletes health history, physical examination and EKG results for a more accurate assessment of their health,” said Mr. Ferrone. “This will be tremendously beneficial for our student-athletes.”
Physical scheduling procedures will also experience a significant change for the coming year. Because of the new streamlined pre-participation physical process and the added cardiac screening opportunity, physicals for high school sports will be performed only once per year.
“Physicals for participation in all Point Pleasant Borough High School sports, regardless of season, will be conducted only once this year,” said Mr. Ferrone. “Our school physician will be performing physicals on two dates - Wednesday, June 11th for girls and Friday, June 13th for boys. There will be no additional physical dates. Any student who plans to participate in high school sports at any time during the next school year, must receive their physical on those dates.”
The cardiac screening process takes between 10-15 minutes and will be administered in conjunction with students’ sports physicals. At this time, the screening will only be administered to students participating in Point Pleasant Borough High School sports programs. Cardiac screening appointments can be made in person at the Athletics Office or by phone to Athletics Secretary Nancy Mallow at (732) 701-1900 extension 2227.
“Whether in the classroom or out on the field, maintaining the safety and well-being of our students is the Point Pleasant Borough School District’s single most important responsibility,” said Superintendent of Schools Vincent S. Smith. “These new procedures will serve as a terrific complement to the district’s existing safety procedures and protocols that are specific to student-athletes. I commend Mr. Ferrone on his proactive efforts to address incidents of sudden cardiac death in our student-athletes.”