About Us

OliviaOlivia’s Heart Project first began after Corinne Ruiz tragically lost her 14 year old daughter, Olivia Corinne Hoff, to Sudden Cardiac Arrest in 2004. Olivia seemed to be the picture of perfect health, active in many school activities including cheerleading. The underlying condition which caused Olivia’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Long QT Syndrome, could most likely have been detected through a heart screening and EKG exam. However, routine health exams and physicals on seemingly healthy students do not include these. After Olivia’s passing, Corinne wanted to do everything in her power to help prevent other young athletes from meeting Olivia’s same fate.

CPR_TrainingCorinne first began her awareness mission by founding the Bakersfield Chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation in January of 2011, where she first began advocating for Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to be placed in all Kern County High Schools. Through her strength and passion to save the lives of other children at risk, Corinne successfully convinced the Kern County High School District to place AED’s in all of their schools beginning at the start of the 2013/2014 school year.

In January 2014, Corinne began pursuing her own grassroots nonprofit organization, Olivia’s Heart Project. The mission of Olivia’s Heart Project is to provide the community with knowledge about the issues, obstacles, and benefits of SCA prevention, resuscitation and early treatment. Through their peer support for SCA survivors, awareness and education campaigns and free Community Heart Screenings for youth, Olivia’s Heart Project is here to do everything that they can to Keep Young Hearts Beating!

Please visit Olivia’s Memorial website and a light a candle; keep Olivia’s light shining. Thank you.

Our Vision

Corrine and Olivia

Our vision at Olivia’s Heart Project is to increase awareness and prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in children and young adults through Community Heart Screenings, education and increased accessibility to life saving Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s). By working with the Kern High School District to place AED’s on every Kern high school campus, and by joining forces with Start A Heart Bakersfield, a coalition of our local healthcare organizations, our plan is to educate and train school personnel and coaches with CPR and AED training to increasing the survival rate from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Combined with our bi-annual Community Heart Screenings, which are free to youth ages 12 to 18, together we can help our community implement comprehensive, long-term, public access defibrillator programs and save countless lives from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Our Accomplishments

Olivia’s Heart Project Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Mayor Harvey Harvey Hall does the honor of cutting the ribbon in recognition of our new non-profit organization, Olivia’s Heart Project, that is focused on striving to save lives by placing AEDs in local schools and providing and encouraging heart screening for school aged children.

Kern High School District adds AEDs

Our First Community Heart Screening

Community Heart Screening reception area

On Saturday, October 10, 2015, we partnered with Bakersfield Heart Hospital and Central Cardiology Medical Clinic (CCMC) to offer our first FREE Community Heart Screening to youth ages 12-24. We were able to screen a total of 58 kids and found some astonishing results.

A total of 11 showed abnormalities on their EKG so Echocardiograms were also performed. The results showed that 9 of the kids had significant heart defects that put them at risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Only because we were able to offer these screenings were these parents and kids able to act early enough to prevent a potentially fatal result. [More]

Our Second Free Community Heart Screening

Olivia's Heart Project Second Screening Volunteers

Thank you to the CHLA volunteers who helped make our screening a success.

Our second Free Heart Screening was held at Bakersfield Heart Hospital, Saturday, March 5, 2016. We screened 93 kids and found 10 who had undiagnosed heart conditions and require follow up care. The following heart conditions were found:

  • 3 Bradycardia
  • 1 Early Repolarization Syndrome
  • 2 Tachycardia
  • 1 Long QT
  • 1 Syncope/Seizures
  • 1 Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
  • 1 Right Ventricular Hypertrophy

[More]

Community Heart Screening finds 5 undiagnosed heart conditions

Dr. Reddy at Olivia's Heart Project Free Community Heart Screening

Dr. Reddy being interviewed.

Our third Free Heart Screening was held at Bakersfield Heart Hospital, Saturday, September 10, 2016. We screened 103 kids and found 5 who had undiagnosed heart conditions and 2 require follow up care. The following heart conditions were found:

  • 2 Mild Right Ventricular Condition Delay
  • 2 Right Atrial Hypertrophy
  • 1 Atrial Ventricular Block

[More]

Women Moving Bakersfield: Corinne Ruiz

By Laura Liera, Bakersfield Life Magazine

Corinne Ruiz

By Mark Nessia. Corinne Ruiz holds a teddy bear that was made with her daughter Olivia’s dress that she wore for her eighth-grade graduation dance. Olivia was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome and died from sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 14.

By Mark Nessia. Corinne Ruiz holds a teddy bear that was made with her daughter Olivia’s dress that she wore for her eighth-grade graduation dance. Olivia was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome and died from sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 14.
The hallway and living room no longer echo in laughter or guitar melodies inside the home of Corinne Ruiz.

There are no longer mom-and-daughter moments shared in the evening when her daughter Olivia would jump on her mother’s bed, a sign it was time to chat about life, boys and friends.

But as deep as the emptiness may feel inside the home where 14-year-old Olivia grew up, her mother’s eyes sparkle – in the midst of tears that fall down her face, when she talks about her little girl.

 

[More]

“Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of non-traumatic sudden death in children and young adults
and usually is the result of an undiagnosed cardiovascular disorder.”

Join us in educating California to save lives!