What They Say?

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening condition that causes a person’s heartbeat to stop abruptly and unexpectedly. SCA is usually caused by an abnormality in the heart's electrical system. When this happens, blood flow to the brain, the heart, and the rest of the body stops and, if standing, the person usually collapses. SCA strikes people of all ages, including children and teenagers who seem to be healthy.

SCA leads to death within minutes if the person does not receive help right away. As described by Parent Heart Watch, “the normal rhythm of a person’s heart can only be restored with defibrillation, which is an electrical shock that is safely delivered to the chest by an automated external defibrillator (AED). Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) can be a bridge to live until an AED can be administered. Of the leading causes of youth death (accidents, suicide, homicide, cancer and heart conditions), sudden cardiac arrest is the only one that can be prevented through primary and secondary prevention strategies.”

If a person goes into SCA, that person’s survival depends on the people nearby calling 911, starting CPR, and using an AED as soon as possible. More than 90% of SCA victims die because there was a delay in emergency response.

SCA by the Numbers

SCA is the #1 killer of student athletes and the leading cause of death on school campuses. 1 in 300 young people have an undetected heart condition that puts them at risk for SCA. In fact, an estimated 7,000 to 23,000 young people are stricken by SCA annually. If a young person experiences SCA, there is a 90% chance that young person will die from the SCA event.

As explained by Parent Heart Watch, “the precise incidence of SCA in youth is presently unknown due to the lack of a mandatory and systematic national registry of SCA/sudden cardiac death in youth.” Parent Heart Watch also explains that the “AHA Heart & Stroke Reports are generated annually, [but] it’s obvious a commitment to a realistic estimate of SCA in youth was abandoned, as evidenced by the exact same total being reported for five years running. In contrast, a 2020 study that tapped pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest data from the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) estimates there are over 23,000 youth under 18 years old stricken annually in the U.S.”

Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet, Consectetur Adipiscing Elit. Suspendisse Varius Enim In Eros Elementum Tristique. Duis Cursus, Mi Quis Viverra Ornare.

JOHN SMITH
Co-Founder of Webflow

Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet, Consectetur Adipiscing Elit. Suspendisse Varius Enim In Eros Elementum Tristique. Duis Cursus, Mi Quis Viverra Ornare.

JOHN SMITH
Co-Founder of Webflow

Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet, Consectetur Adipiscing Elit. Suspendisse Varius Enim In Eros Elementum Tristique. Duis Cursus, Mi Quis Viverra Ornare.

JOHN SMITH
Co-Founder of Webflow

Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet, Consectetur Adipiscing Elit. Suspendisse Varius Enim In Eros Elementum Tristique. Duis Cursus, Mi Quis Viverra Ornare.

JOHN SMITH
Co-Founder of Webflow

What They Say?

Symptoms of SCA

The first symptom of SCA is often death, either because the warning signs of an underlying heart condition were not recognized in time or life-saving help was not administered within minutes of the SCA event. When warning signs do occur, the warning signs can include:

Fainting or seizures during or immediately after exercise

Unexplained shortness of breath

Dizziness

Extreme fatigue

Racing heart (feels like it is beating out of your chest)

Sudden and unexplained death of a family member under the age of 50 (e.g. drowning, auto accident, SIDS)

If a student or young adult is having these symptoms, the person and their family should consult a doctor.

Is SCA the Same as a Heart Attack?

No. A heart attack is a condition in which a blood clot suddenly blocks an artery and that artery’s blood flow either slows down or stops entirely. Alternatively, SCA is not due to a blockage in the heart and occurs when someone’s heart stops pumping, which is usually caused by an abnormality in the heart's electrical system.

Unlike SCA victims, heart attack victims usually experience symptoms such as chest discomfort or pain and remain conscious. Also unlike SCA victims, most people who have a heart attack survive the event. Most people experience SCA independently from a heart attack and without warning signs.

Who is at Risk?

SCA often occurs in active people who seem to be healthy and have no known medical conditions. In these patients, SCA is the first indication of a heart condition.

As explained by Simon’s Heart, “there are many factors that contribute to a person’s risk of sudden cardiac death. In kids, these risk factors are often genetic abnormalities that can increase the risk of developing dangerous heart rhythms that can be fatal. These genetic conditions often run in families, which is why it is so important to know your family history. In addition to genetic risk factors, some individuals acquire additional risk factors as they age. These can include heart disease, kidney disease, lung disease, and high blood pressure to name a few.”

Marianna Hendrix

Heart Screening Director

I have spent 20+ years as a Business Manager, focusing on the customer experience and developing leaders to execute a common goal. As a licensed Realtor/Property Manager in the state of Florida being involved with the communities is my passion. I have to say my purpose is FAMILY. I have called Brevard County home since 2007, with my husband (Retired Navy Veteran) and two beautiful kids. I am also the proud parent of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor. It is my mission to raise awareness into this common killer of young people, one community at a time.

Scott Colloredo

Board Member

Scott Colloredo has been a staple of Who We Play For in Brevard County from the beginning. His connection to the community has transformed our local events into massive fundraisers. Scott began his career as a NASA co-op student in 1986 in the launch accessories branch of Kennedy’s Engineering Development Directorate. During his first 10 years with NASA, he worked as a design engineer, systems engineer and as a lead designer for ground support equipment for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.

NASA has rewarded Colloredo’s service with several distinguished awards, including NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, Kennedy’s Center Director Award and Certificate of Commendation, and several Kennedy Group Achievement Awards.

Colloredo earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1989. He earned a Master of Science in engineering management from the University of Central Florida in Orlando in 1994.

Colloredo resides in Cocoa Beach, Florida, with his wife and their two children.

Paul mitchell

Board Member

Paul continues to be a major asset to Who We Play For’s Board of Directors, offering his extensive knowledge and passion gained from some of the most powerful executive branch agencies in Florida government. Paul began his career in Florida government in 1988 as an aide to, then Insurance Commissioner, Tom Gallagher. In 1994, Paul was appointed Chief Cabinet Aide to former Secretary of State Sandra Mortham and specialized in financial services, environmental, and education issues. In 1998, following Tom Gallagher’s election as Education Commissioner, Paul was asked to serve as the Commissioner’s Chief of Staff. Six years and two successful administrations later, Paul continued to serve as Chief of Staff to Tom Gallagher, Florida’s first Chief Financial Officer at the Florida Department of Insurance and then at the Department of Financial Services.

An expert in policy and administration, Paul served on several boards and commissions including the E.R.P. (Enterprise Resource Planning) Integration Task Force, a statewide effort initiated by the legislature to improve financial management of taxpayer dollars and modernize state personnel systems. Paul also served with the Florida Commission on Economic Education and the “Just Read Florida” program.  Paul currently is on the board for the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation, which is the direct support organization for the Department of Juvenile Justice.

A native Floridian from Palm Beach County, Paul was a dedicated public servant for more than fifteen years. Prior to entering government, Paul graduated with honors from Florida State University in Political Communications.

Dr. lisa Cosgrove

Medical Advisory Team

Dr. Lisa Cosgrove has a longstanding history of leadership positions in health care, government and clinical research. Medical Society elected positions include AAP District X Vice-Chair, Chapter Forum Management Committee; Board Member and Subspecialty Society Representative to the Florida Medical Association; President and Board Member of the Florida Chapter AAP and President and Board Member to the Brevard County Medical Society. She has also served the state of Florida as the Florida Medicaid Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee Chair as well as Chair of the Children's Cabinet and leading the Florida Chipra Medical Home Project over a five year period. Dr. Cosgrove is a bilingual pediatrician who has diverse experience as a private practicing physician whose NCQA enrolled practice participates in the AAP PROS as Florida State Representative, and several QUINN Committee Projects to include Safe and Healthy Beginnings, Medical Home, Bright Futures and Newborn Screening.

In her capacity as President of Florida Chapter AAP Dr. Cosgrove represented chapter membership in two lawsuits regarding access for children and safety of guns in the home.

Native to Arkansas, she has practiced medicine internationally in the Caribbean, Mexico and Ecuador and as such is an active board member on International Medical Graduates section Dr. Cosgrove is an integral part of the Space Coast of Florida community where her 24 year practice is located and where she raised her children. She is the proud mother of three young men, two daughter-in-laws and 2 grandsons; some of whom live in Ecuador. Dr. Cosgrove’s love of children extends from home to all corners of the globe leading her to volunteer as director of a nonprofit agency, Home At Last Adoption Agency, offering domestic adoption services in Central Florida as well as internationally.

Dr. Victor Froelicher

Medical Advisory Team

Emeritus Professor of Medicine who started his cardiology career at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine performing cardiac screening of pilots, astronauts and military athletes. He is an international expert in clinical exercise physiology, computerized ECGs, screening and the exercise sciences. He author of the textbook “Exercise and the Heart”. Since 1992, he has been the major Cardiac consultant to Stanford Sports Medicine and participated in the pre-participation exam of all Stanford athletes and professional teams in their care. He led the writing group for the first international document to specify the ECG criteria that lowered the false positive rate for screening athletes and has been a participant in the two Seattle ECG Criteria meetings. He initiated the program of ECG screening at Stanford and was the first Director of the Stanford Sports Cardiology clinic.

Contributions to Science:
* Sports Cardiology – His group has contributed to recent advancements in sports cardiology and has presented lectures and papers regarding the application of ECG screening and of the cause of sudden cardiac death in athletes.
* Screening of Asymptomatic Men – While Director of CV research and LtCol at the USAF School of Medicine (1972-1977), he presented seminal data on the angiographic findings and follow up of aircrewmen with abnormal ECGs and abnormal exercise tests.
* The Cardiovascular Effects of Cardiac Rehabilitation (PERFEXT) – While Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at UCSD, he was PI of an NHLBI funded randomized trial of Cardiac Rehabilitation.
* Prognostic Studies in Veterans – While Chief of Cardiology at the LBVAMC, he developed the cardiology data bases for follow up studies of Veterans who had ECGs and exercise tests. The techniques perfected were the basis for the VETs treadmill studies and the ECG studies that are still on-going.
* VA Co-operative Study of Quantitative Exercise Testing and Angiography (QUEXTA) He was the originator and Co PI for this study which applied computer techniques to both exercise testing and coronary angiography. It is seminal in that it also removed work up bias by only including patients with chest pain who agreed to both exercise testing and coronary angiography prior to any testing.

Victor Froelicher MD, FACC, FAHA, FACSM
Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Orthopedics/Sports Medicine
Address: 2805 Champs Elysee Blvd, Half Moon Bay 94019

Dr. Gul Dadlani

Medical Advisory Team

Gul Dadlani, MD, is chief of pediatric cardiology at Nemours Children’s Hospital. Dr. Dadlani graduated from medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo, then completed a residency at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Following a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at the Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, Dr. Dadlani served as a pediatric cardiologist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Heart Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. Dr. Dadlani is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics with subspecialty certification in pediatric cardiology and has special interests in pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart defects, heart failure and Williams syndrome.

Dr. F. Jay Fricker

Medical Advisory Team

F. Jay Fricker, MD, is board-certified in general pediatrics and pediatric cardiology. He led the pediatric cardiology division at the University of Florida College of Medicine from his arrival in 1995 until 2014. Dr. Fricker was instrumental in establishing the UF Health Congenital Heart Center in 2006, serving as its medical director through 2014, and in making the center among the top congenital heart programs in the country.

He received his medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency and his pediatric cardiology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Fricker’s clinical interests focus on the nonsurgical aspects of pediatric heart and lung transplantation and on treating patients with pulmonary hypertension. His research has focused on immune-suppression strategies after heart transplantation in children. Widely recognized for his expertise in pediatric heart/heart-lung transplantation, Dr. Fricker has been a visiting professor and guest lecturer throughout the country and world.

Dr. Fricker serves on the Medical Selection Committee of the UF College of Medicine. His memberships include the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Cardiology; American Pediatrics Society; International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation; American Society of Transplant Physicians; and the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Diseases in the Young.

Bill Hollimon

Board of Directors Emeritus

Bill Hollimon is a registered patent attorney and mediator. His practice focuses on patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Bill is an experienced litigator, and regularly appears in state and federal courts. He is also involved in administrative litigation at the state and federal levels.

Bill has has litigated patent, trademark, and copyright disputes, and has experience in other complex litigation including class actions and proceedings before the Florida Public Service Commission. He also assists clients in cancellation and opposition proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and in domain name disputes before ICANN. His mediation practice concentrates on complex commercial disputes and disputes involving intellectual property.

Hollimon also enjoys helping small businesses and start-ups think through all aspects of their business strategies, and is a regular speaker with Innovation Park's Entrepreneurial Excellence Program which provides legal advice to start-ups. He is a regular  Faculty member for the Jim Moran Institute's Small Business Executive Program, and has periodically served as an adjunct Professor of Copyright Law at FSU College of Law. Hollimon was a member of Leadership Florida Class XXX, and served as an appointed member of the Florida Elections Commission from 2008-2011, including 2 years as Vice Chairman.  Prior to beginning his legal career, Bill practiced as an engineer in the electric utility industry in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina.

Hollimon is admitted to practice before all Florida State Courts, all Florida Federal District Courts, the United States Court of Claims, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal. Hollimon was recently appointed to serve on the City of Tallahassee's Independent Ethics Board.  

Bill and his wife, Loranne Ausley live in Tallahassee with their 15 year old son, Will.

Kurt Easton

Board Member

After 35 years of planning and designing cities throughout Florida and 7 years of managing his solar energy company; Kurt is now enjoying semi-retirement from those professional obligations. In the summer of 2018, he decided to commit time and concentrate effort on taking the helm of the newly restructured organization of Who We Play For. Kurt takes pride in his loving relationship with his sons Kieran and Koby and all of their friends having raised them in the embrace of the entire community of parents in Cocoa Beach. He is still known as Mr. Easton to the players he coached in so many sports over the years. One of those players was Rafe Maccarone, and like all the rest of the players, he was loved and cherished by Mr. Easton since he was a small child.

“Rafe’s death had a profound effect on all of us, which makes the mission of Who We Play For a cause that we take so personally. I am grateful to be a part of this organization and I am thrilled about our plans for expansion throughout the country saving lives in the name of our beloved son and brother Rafe.” Kurt Easton, 2019

Cam Vermette

Board Member

Cam Vermette is a co-founder of Who We Play For and currently works as Corporate Counsel at Klaviyo, a marketing automation software company in Boston. Previously, Cam was an Associate at Cooley LLP, where he worked with technology and life sciences companies and investors on venture financings, mergers and acquisitions, public securities offerings and corporate governance matters. Cam holds a BS in International Affairs from Florida State University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Chrissy mactaggart

Board Member

Chrissy MacTaggart graduated from Georgetown University with a BS in Business Administration.  She is currently a stay at home mom residing in Greenwich, CT. Chrissy and her husband Ian are the proud parents of three daughters, one of whom is a SCA survivor.  Chrissy is passionate about raising awareness for SCA and screening adolescent hearts to preemptively detect the conditions that can cause it.

Dr. Drezner

Medical Advisory Team

Dr. Drezner is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington and Director of the UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology. He is board certified in Family Medicine and has a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine. He serves as a team physician for the Seattle Seahawks (NFL), Reign FC (NWSL), and the University of Washington Huskies men’s basketball, track & field and cross country teams. He is Deputy Editor for the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Vice-Chair of the NFL General Medical Committee, and past-President of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (2012-13). He is also Director of the Division for Cardiac Injury in Sport for the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. He serves as Medical Director for the Nick of Time Foundation, and is on the Medical Advisory Board for Parent Heart Watch and Who We Play For. Dr. Drezner has dedicated his career to the prevention of sudden cardiac arrest and death (SCA/D) in young athletes and the development of effective models for prevention. His primary research focuses on the incidence and etiology of SCA/D, cardiovascular screening and electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation in athletes, and emergency response planning and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the school and athletic settings.

As Director of the UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology (www.uwsportscardiology.org) his mission is to transform the delivery of cardiovascular care in athletes of all ages and to promote safe physical activity and sports participation. The Center for Sports Cardiology is a unique collaboration between sports medicine and cardiology specialists to establish clinical and academic resources that advance the cardiovascular health and safety of active children, adults, and competitive athletes. Dr. Drezner has expanded the clinical services available to young athletes through advanced heart screens and multidisciplinary consultations. He also helped develop the Cardiovascular Wellness & Prevention Program intended for master’s athletes and physically active adults. A major educational initiative led by Dr. Drezner was the development of the consensus International Criteria for ECG interpretation in athletes, and the accompanying ECG training modules available open access at: https://uwsportscardiology.org/E-Academy

Dr. Drezner had the great honor of highlighting his scientific contributions as the opening keynote lecture on the prevention of sudden cardiac death in athletes at the 2011 International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Conference on the Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport, and again as the closing keynote lecture at the 2017 IOC World Conference. Dr. Drezner was also co-editor of the IOC Manual of Sports Cardiology and has over 150 publications in refereed journals.

A complete list of his publications can be found at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Drezner+J%5BAuthor%5D

Ralph Maccarone

Board Member

Ralph Maccarone is a parent of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest victim. His son Rafe Maccarone was the inspiration behind the Who We Play For organization. Ralph has started an EKG Heart Screening program in his hometown of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and is actively involved in fund raising and public awareness of the importance of these EKG Heart Screenings. He is currently working with the Pagosa Springs EMS Department in starting a CPR program for the local schools. He was a 27 year resident of Brevard County Florida, and relocated to Pagosa Springs, Colorado with his wife Valerie in 2011. When Ralph is not working, his passion remains in the pursuit of outdoor activities.

Dr. Karas

Medical Advisory Team

Medical Director of Health First Heart & Vascular Service Line at Holmes Regional Medical Center. Steven Karas, MD, is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases, interventional cardiology and nuclear cardiology.

Dr. Karas received his medical degree from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina. He completed both an internship and residency at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he also completed a fellowship in cardiology. He also completed a fellowship in interventional cardiology at Emory University-Affiliated Hospitals in Georgia.

Dr. Ahmed

Medical Advisory Team

Founder of Cardiac Vision, Dr. Junaid Ahmed is a graduate of Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska and completed a residency in internal medicine at Loyola University Medical Center. Following a fellowship in general cardiology at the University of Florida at Shands Jacksonville, he established Cardiac Vision which has pioneered in the field of transitional cardiology across the country and one of the few to start and lead in sports cardiology. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology and is a member of the American College of Cardiology – Sports Cardiology and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Ahmed is trained in various aspects of nuclear cardiology and has completed training and received COCATS certification in the following: Echo, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT, exercise testing, ambulatory monitoring, left and right heart catheterization, diagnostic coronary angiography, cardiopulmonary exercise stress tests, carotid-ABI-vascular ultrasounds,  and arrhythmias. He has authored and co-authored a number of cardiology posters and publications and has served as a presenter at multiple cardiology events.

A former competitive athlete, Dr. Ahmed now enjoys recreational sports, basketball, weightlifting, CrossFit training, volleyball, and surfing. His background in sports is what fuels his desire to ensure athletes of all abilities receive appropriate cardiovascular evaluation and the training guidance needed to enable them to compete safely and at their highest ability.

Dr. Ahmed is conversationally and medically fluent in Hindi and Spanish and his keen appreciation of history, culture and traditions has led him to embark on extensive world travel.

Tzvi Eleff

Board Member

Tzvi Eleff heads up Enterprise Reporting, Analytics and Strategy at the Touro College & University System. Touro is an industry leader in medical health education and serves a diverse population of over 19,000 students across 30 schools in 4 countries. Tzvi received his bachelor's degree in Biology from Lander College for Men and an MBA in Finance from Touro University Worldwide, where he graduated as valedictorian. He is happily married to Emily, his wife of 8+ years, and is the proud father of 3 very busy children. WWPF is an organization that is near and dear to Tzvi's heart as he was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy as a teen and has been an advocate for bringing attention, awareness and preventative measures to unsuspecting individuals worldwide.

Dr. Trivedi

Medical Advisory Team

Bhavya Trivedi, MD, PhD, is a board-certified pediatric cardiologist and the Medical Director of Pediatric Electrophysiology at AdventHealth for Children in Orlando. He specializes in pediatric heart arrhythmias caused by congenital heart disease, management of long QT syndrome and other sudden-death syndromes, electrophysiology procedures that minimize children’s radiation exposure and catheter ablation procedures. He is also a leading authority on pacemakers and internal defibrillators. Dr. Trivedi’s outstanding credentials include his medical degree earned as part of a six-year combined bachelor’s and MD honors program at the University of Miami, his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Miami, and his residency training, pediatric cardiology fellowship and pediatric electrophysiology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina.

Dr. Isabel Alfonso

Medical Advisory Team

Isabel Alfonso, Ph.D. is a bilingual licensed psychologist in private practice in Tallahassee, Florida. Dr.  Alfonso received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. She completed her internship at The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver Colorado. Dr. Alfonso has been working with adolescent and adult clients with significant medical issues for approximately 25 years. She has significant training and experience working with multidisciplinary teams in hospital, university, school, clinic and state agency settings. Dr. Alfonso has been working with student athletes for approximately 20 years. She has been contracted by The Florida State University (Division 1) Athletic department for the treatment of athletes from 2001 until the present. Over the years she has worked with many student athletes that have been injured, sidelined and medically disqualified. Several years ago, she was deeply touched by a couple of intelligent, vibrant and talented student athletes. They were diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia. Along with treating them for the significant distress the reality of this diagnosis created in their lives, Dr. Alfonso sought out to find additional support in the community for these young athletes. It was during this search that she came upon Who We Play For. She has been supportive of Who We Play For ever since.

Dr. Christa Miliaresis

Medical Advisory Team

Christa Miliaresis, MD, FAAP, FACC is a pediatric cardiologist with Boston Children’s Health Physicians in Westchester, NY. She is the director of the pediatric cardiology exercise lab, as well as the preventative cardiology and pediatric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy programs. She is an attending cardiologist at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, NY and an assistant professor of pediatrics with New York Medical College. Her research interests include sports cardiology, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. She is an avid reader and sports enthusiast. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, 3 children and yellow lab.

Kaydi Blackstock

Heart Screening Director

Kaydi Blackstock is a former athlete turned Athletic Trainer. She is also a Yoga and Pilates Instructor. She has always had a passion for helping people and medicine. She grew up playing Basketball, Track, Softball, and Dance. After she graduated High School, she moved to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She gained clinical experience with all levels of sports ranging from high school to professional, various doctor’s offices, performing arts, and MMA. After she graduated, she took a job with Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic in Florida to further expand her education. Then a wonderful opportunity opened up for her to become the Head Athletic Trainer at Chiles High School for all sports. She got a phone call from Evan Ernst her first week or two on the job and was instantly ready to join the Who We Play For Team.

The first responsibility of an Athletic Trainer is prevention. That being said, cardiac screening is crucial on the list to properly screen an athlete for participation. However, ECG testing is not mandated, or even a common practice for physical exams. Unfortunately, a student collapsed her first year on the job, and did not survive despite her resuscitation efforts. This only motivated Kaydi more to get the word out that everyone needs to be screened.

Kaydi is currently working at Premier Health & Fitness as a Personal Trainer and Cardiac Rehabilitation Ambassador for Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. She has hosted and volunteered for Who We Play For Screenings since 2016 and couldn’t be more thrilled to officially join the team as a Cardiac Screening Director!

Dr. Pelliccia

Medical Advisory Board

My present position is Chief of Cardiology of the Institute of Sports Medicine and Science of the Italian National Olympic Committee. Rome. Italy

My Education Medical Degree at the University Medical School La Sapienza in Rome, 1975Specialization in Cardiovascular Disease, 1979 and subsequently in Sport Medicine, 1983. I have spent large part of my professional activity at Institute of Sports Medicine and Science, Rome. Substantial part of my education has been in the US, at the National Institute of Health, Cardiology Branch, Bethesda, Maryland, University Hospital of the Georgetown University in Washington DC and TUFTS University Medical School in Boston.

Area of expertise Evaluation of left ventricular hypertrophy induced by exercise conditioning.Criteria of differential diagnosis of “athlete’s heart” from structural cardiac disease, with special regard to cardiomyopathies.Implementation of pre-participation screening for cardiovascular disease at risk of sudden death in athletic populations.Definition of appropriate criteria for interpretation of the 12-lead ECG in trained individuals. Clinical assessment and recommendations for sport participation in athletes with cardiovascular diseases.Strategies to improve the level of physical activity and sport participation in sedentary individuals.

Academic Appointments
Full Professor of Internal Medicine
(Sport Medicine discipline) by the National Scientific Advisory Board of the Italian Ministry of Research and University.
Professor of Sport Cardiology. Postgraduate School of Sport Medicine. University of Rome and L’Aquila.
Adjunct Professor in Sports Cardiology. Tufts University Medical School, Boston, MA.
Visiting Professor at University of Belgrade School of Medicine. Belgrade. Serbia.

Publications
I’m the first author of over 200 papers published on peer-reviewed journals (including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal American Medical Association, Circulation, Journal American College of Cardiology, American Journal of Cardiology, European Heart Journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, International Journal of Sport Medicine).

Scientific Journal
Since 2014, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. Minerva Medica Publ. Torino.

Dr. Allison B. Levey

Medical Advisory Board

Allison Levey, M.D., is an Assistant Professor in Pediatric Cardiology. She speciailizes in non-invasive imaging and community pediatric cardiology within the division of pediatric cardiology.

Dr. Levey’s practice is dedicated to the care of newborns through adolescents with congenital heart disease. In addition, she has a strong interest in community pediatric cardiology seeing patients with such complaints as murmurs, chest pain, palpitations, and syncope. She also has a strong interest in fetal cardiology and helping families understand the diagnoses and working with them through this time.

She joined the division of Pediatric Cardiology as an attending in 2009 after completing her Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and her medical degree from Columbia University. She then completed her pediatric residency and pediatric cardiology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of NY- Columbia University.

She was recently named to NY Metro and Fairfield county Top Doctors by Castle Connolly.

Dr. Michael A. Monaco

Medical Advisory Board

Dr. Michael Monaco is a board certified pediatric cardiologist. He received his bachelor of arts in biology at Siena College in New York and was elected to the Alpha Kappa Alpha honor society. He was also a four year starter on the lacrosse team. He was awarded his medical degree from Albany Medical College where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. Dr. Monaco completed his residency in pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital including a year as Chief Resident. He went on to complete his fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York, where he was Chief Fellow.

As assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian, Dr. Monaco has mentored many medical students, residents and cardiology fellows. His practice is dedicated to non-invasiove cardiac imaging, fetal cardiology and the care of children with congenital heart disease. His other specialties include transesophageal echocardiography, exercise cardiology and 3D imaging.

Dr. Monaco has authored several academic articles and delivered various lectures and presentations in the area and around the country.