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Hundreds of Students Receive $5 Physicals

June 11, 2010
By Paula J. McGarvey for The Montana Standard | Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 8:30 am Hundreds of student athletes lined up at the Regional Medical Arts Pavilion at St. James Healthcare in Butte on Monday to take advantage of $5 sports physicals and electrocardiograms. A team of area health care providers, which included staff from the Montana Sports Medicine Program, Rocky Mountain Clinic, Montana Orthopedics and Dr. Bruce Hardy, a Missoula pediatric cardiologist, performed the exams. Sports physicals are required for participation in Butte Central and Butte High athletic programs for the 2010-2011 academic year. The optional electrocardiogram screening tests were offered to those wishing to assess risk for underlying heart conditions, which can occur in 1 in 500 people and can result in sudden death. By 6:30 p.m., the waiting line extended into the hospital parking lot. "Luckily, the weather cooperated with us so we could leave them outside," said Chris Heard, Montana Sports Medicine Program supervisor. Heard added that the examinations and screenings of freshmen lasted until after 10:30 p.m. and more than 375 student physicals were performed in a five-hour period. "Approximately 225 of those (students) obtained ECGs," he said. Heard said that 70 physicians, nurse practitioners, allied health and school personnel volunteered their time throughout the evening to provide the physicals and electrocardiograms. "It was phenomenal to have that much physician and provider support. Without them, it wouldn't be possible," he said. Paula J. McGarvey may be reached via e-mail at paulajmc@bresnan.net.