Help kids Play Smart

Providence Heart and Vascular Institute is the largest provider of cardiac services in Oregon. More than 80 highly skilled cardiologists and surgeons care for 13,000 patients each year, integrating patient education and disease prevention with advanced diagnostics and treatment.

This year's Providence Festival of Trees Portland event supported the institute's new youth cardiac screening program: Play Smart. It takes a community – parents, teachers, coaches, medical professionals and you – to help prevent sudden cardiac arrest in young people. Increased access to automated external defibrillators, CPR training and proactive youth cardiac screenings will go a long way toward saving young lives in our community.

The most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young people is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, an inherited disease that affects 1 in 500 people. HCM can thicken the heart's walls and cause it to beat in dangerous rhythms. While symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath or fainting, some kids with HCM have no symptoms at all.

Play Smart screenings help detect HCM and other cardiac abnormalities in youth, and Providence Heart and Vascular Institute has pledged to provide these screenings free of charge. Your gift to sustain Play Smart will help save lives and provide Oregon youth with a healthier tomorrow and a brighter future.

Learn more about the Play Smart program?