Our youth, our teens, are our future. Each year we hear news stories from across the country about young, healthy students participating in school athletics dying of undiagnosed heart abnormalities. Research that shows one in 250 students are at risk for sudden cardiac death-related issues due to cardiac problems that cannot be detected with a routine sports physical.
To increase awareness of potential heart conditions in this otherwise healthy population and provide area teens with this vital heart screening, Longview Regional Medical Center (LRMC) is partnering with the Championship Hearts Foundation to bring a mobile heart scan to Longview. This morning event, “Play it Safe East Texas,” will offer free heart screenings to teens, ages 14-18, and will take place from 8:00 a.m. to noon, Saturday, February 1, at the LRMC’s outpatient surgery/surgical service entrance.
Registered nurse, Beverly Rutland, is helping make this possibly life-saving event happen. She is able to draw on her experience as the supervisor/director of cardiology at LRMC to ensure medical equipment and supplies provided by the Championship Hearts Foundation, and the myriad of logistics involved, will all come together smoothly and efficiently. Ms. Rutland has also helped to recruit and coordinate local cardiologists and electrophysiologists who will volunteer their time and expertise to interpret the tests performed and provide immediate results to the students and their families. With community, business, and volunteer support, Ms. Rutland says they have set a goal to scan 300 or more students, at no cost to the student or family, during “Play it Safe East Texas.”
In addition to her commitment to “Play it Safe East Texas,” Ms. Rutland lends her time as a member of the Longview Regional Healthy Women Advisory Council and the American Heart Association, two organizations close to her heart as a nurse. She also volunteers for the Greater Longview United Way, the Longview Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club, the Children’s Advocacy Center, and Senior Friends Center.
“You can truly make a difference in the lives of others by volunteering and giving back to the community in which you live,” Ms. Rutland said. “Through volunteering, you are able to help those less fortunate than you and most importantly serve as a blessing.”
Originally from Carlsbad, New Mexico, Ms. Rutland has been a resident of Longview for 24 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from The University of Texas at Arlington. Ms. Rutland has one daughter, Meghan Smith, and two grandsons, Greyson Usery, 7, and Liam Mims, 2.
When asked what she enjoys about living in the East Texas area, Ms. Rutland said, “I love living in a beautiful community that is filled with kind, genuine, and giving people.”
For more information, or to pre-register for “Play it Safe East Texas,” please call 903-553-7402 or visit www.champhearts.org.