About Us – Heart Screening Program


The Young Hearts for Life®(YH4L) Cardiac Screening Program, nationally known for its unique model, has screened over 280,000 students for conditions that cause sudden cardiac death.  This milestone is a first for any heart screening program of this kind in the United States. Each week, sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 60 young adults in the United States.  YH4L has been a leader the medical community to address this problem in the Chicago area.

The YH4L heart screening program was founded by Dr. Joseph Marek in 2006 and is well known for its unique model that uses trained community volunteers to deliver a low cost, efficient screening program.  Dr. Marek, an internationally recognized cardiologist, has taught physicians across America how to run screenings for students and athletes.   Over 21,000 community volunteers have been trained to provide students with FREE ECGs through YH4L. To date, over 3,100 students screened through YH4L have been identified as “at risk” students.  Of those, hundreds were found to have life threatening conditions, including Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Long QT Syndrome, Wolff-Parkinson- White Syndrome (WPW), Brugada Syndrome, and Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia.  YH4L is the largest youth heart screening program in the United States.

Part of the goal of YH4L is to educate the community about sudden death in young adults and to help schools be prepared to deal with cardiac arrest if one was to occur.

Young Hearts for Life is proud to reach our 17th year of screening.  We have amazing volunteers and sponsors who are a part of the YH4L family and make this program possible.  We ARE making a difference.  Lives are being saved.

* Young Hearts for Life is a 501c3 public charity under the umbrella of Advocate Charitable Foundation.