Dr. Justin Trivax and his daughters accept a $5,000 donation with local public safety officials. Trivax’s Hearts for Heroes program helped save the life of a Farmington Hills firefighter.

Dr. Justin Trivax and his daughters accept a $5,000 donation with local public safety officials. Trivax’s Hearts for Heroes program helped save the life of a Farmington Hills firefighter.

Photo provided by the city of Farmington Hills


Hearts for Heroes program saves local firefighters life

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published May 27, 2021

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — Members of the Farmington Hills police and fire departments, along with officers from the Farmington Public Safety Department, received cardiac health screening tests as part of the Hearts for Heroes program back in December.

Created by Dr. Justin Trivax and Dr. Herman Kado, Farmington Hills interventional cardiologists, the Hearts for Heroes program grew from an idea that originated with Trivax’s high school daughters, Tessa and Sienna. The girls learned about a local police officer who suffered a fatal heart attack while on duty, and they asked their dad to help.

The duo created the Hearts for Heroes program and reached out to several local police and fire departments. A total of 57 police officers and firefighters received coronary artery calcium scoring tests.

“Police officers and firefighters are called upon to render assistance in some of the most extreme conditions. If there is undetected heart disease, these activities may provoke cardiovascular events like heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms or sudden cardiac death,” Trivax said via in a press release. “We can prevent all of these events with identification of coronary artery disease with a simple heart scan followed by appropriate treatment. Our mission is to offer this service to all police and fire departments to ensure the safety of our local heroes — our police officers and firefighters.”

As results came back, one firefighter was identified as having significant cardiac disease.

The firefighter subsequently underwent additional comprehensive tests, which resulted in coronary bypass surgery that took place in the last week of April. Farmington Hills Fire Chief Jon Unruh said the firefighter is still recovering from the procedure, but is doing really well.

To show their gratitude, local police officers and firefighters recently presented Trivax and Kado with a $5,000 donation to Hearts for Heroes on behalf of the Farmington Hills Police and Fire Benevolent Association.

“The program was developed in the fall, and we were the first ones to participate, and I think it was met with some great interest from the staff of the Farmington Hills Police and Fire Department and the city of Farmington Public Safety Department,” Unruh said. “I think there was some real positive exposure and also interest by our staff.”

With the program in its infancy, the goal is to get the word out as much as possible, so neighboring communities can also get local police and firefighters tested.

For Farmington and Farmington Hills, the goal is to get tested when Trivax and Kado recommend it. Unruh said more of his staff will be checked in a second round of testing.

Trivax noted that the recent donation will be used to fund screenings for the remaining members of the Farmington Hills police and fire departments, and then to screen other local departments.

“If you take a look at just the Farmington, Farmington Hills area and you look at the public safety officials that were impacted or that received the testing and one life was saved — if you go ahead and add that same ratio to the region here, this program certainly has the ability to have an impact on public safety,” Unruh said.