Golden State Warriors Ronny Turiaf Raises Awareness for Cardiac Screening

By Lauren Hammit on April 20, 2010

WHAT: Special event with Ronny Turiaf of the Golden State Warriors to increase community awareness of the importance of cardiac screening in young people. All media are invited. For the second consecutive year, UCSF Sports Medicine will offer free cardiac screenings and physicals in May for San Francisco-area high school athletes through its PlaySafe Program, a nonprofit community service.

DATE: Thursday, April 22, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. (No screenings for the public will take place on April 22)

LOCATION: UCSF Human Performance Center Orthopaedic Institute at Mission Bay 1500 Owens, San Francisco (adjacent to UCSF Mission Bay campus) WHY: The free UCSF screening session for students is May 22, and students and parents need to register in advance for a spot at www.playsafe.ucsf.edu.

TURIAF’S COMMITMENT: At the April 22 event, Warriors team captain and center Ronny Turiaf will share why he is committed to heart health education for athletes and underprivileged individuals, and how it led to the development of his Heart to Heart Foundation. The Heart to Heart Foundation seeks to provide funding for early detection tests, and to classrooms, defibrillators and educational materials on the importance of heart health awareness.

BACKGROUND: The most common cause of sudden death in young athletes is detectible but often fails to be diagnosed because the condition has no symptoms, most individuals look healthy, and most never undergo cardiac screening. Leading sports authorities such as the International Olympic Committee and Italian Soccer League screen every athlete, but the cost has prohibited widespread adoption in the United States. Advocates like Ronny Turiaf, the UCSF Sports Medicine’s PlaySafe Program and many leading cardiologists are working to change the trend so that more individuals have access to cardiac screening.

PARTICIPANTS ON APRIL 22:

  • Golden State Warriors Captain and Center Ronny Turiaf
  • Anthony Luke, MD, associate professor and director of the UCSF Human Performance Center
  • Sarina Behera, MD, pediatric cardiologist at CPMC
  • Local basketball teams from San Francisco-area high schools

INTERVIEW, PHOTO AND VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Warriors center Ronny Turiaf sharing his story
  • San Francisco-area high school basketball players undergoing physical and EKG screenings
  • Sports Medicine and cardiology experts explaining adolescent and heart health, and how physical and cardiac screenings contribute.

Media interested in attending or arranging interviews should contact Lauren Hammit at (415) 476-2557 (on April 22, call cell 713-213-0557)