health as it happens

Heart check event for youth coming to Salina - Salina Journal

The Salina Journal  |  Salina Journal

With the school year just around the corner, one Salinan is bringing awareness to the heart health of Saline County youth this fall.

The Back*N*Black (BNB) initiative, in partnership with My HeartCheck, is hosting a heart testing event for middle and high school students in the county.

The Aug. 14 event will include comprehensive heart testing including an electrocardiogram and echocardiogram.

The organizer for the event, Barry Weis, has his own history with heart health and wants to make sure the youth of this community and their families understand the importance of it.

“While growing up in Salina, I experienced numerous symptoms from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect, but just moved forward while doctors struggled to diagnose my problem," Weis said.

Though he didn't experience any major issues as a youth, Weis found out about his condition during an athletic event as an adult.

"I feel blessed nothing serious happened to me in my youth," Weis said. "While training for a half-marathon later in life I experienced new, more serious symptoms. It was then my heart defect was discovered. During my recovery from open-heart surgery, I began to research how I might return to an active lifestyle. In that research I learned of the devastating toll Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is having on children, particularly young athletes. I felt compelled to act."

According to the release about the event, SCA is the number one cause of death on school campuses and of student-athletes, with 135 kids dying each week from it. Other facts about SCA are that most victims show no prior symptoms, more than 90% dying from it. It can also be prevented through testing and knowledge.

The testing, which will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 14 at the Student Activity Center at Kansas Wesleyan University, costs $129, although there is financial assistance available.

The Salina Fire Department will also be at the event to teach basic CPR techniques and AED usage.

For more information about Back*N*Black visit To register for the event, visit