I recently had the opportunity to present with YTC member, Dr. Ted Lowenkopf, at the Oregon Stroke Network’s (OSN) Annual Conference attended by over 100 stroke providers and specialists from across the state. Dr. Lowenkopf is a Stroke Neurologist and Medical Director of the Providence Stroke Center. Dr. Lowenkopf and other OSN members played a key role in passing SB 375 last year, a bill which established a statewide Stroke Care Committee and Stroke Data Collections System. The newly established committee will be responsible for analyzing data collected by the state to help inform stroke providers on best practices for stroke care and advise the Oregon Public Health Division on treating and preventing strokes.
Stroke remains the fourth leading cause of death in Oregon and is the leading cause of long-term disability in the state. More than 86,000 people in Oregon have had a stroke and the incidence rate is much higher among lower-income individuals. Smokers are 40 percent more likely to have a stroke than non-smokers and incident and death rates are consistently higher among African American, American Indian/Alaska Native and Latinos.
Dr. Lowenkopf and I discussed the prevalence of stroke in Oregon, how to prevent and treat a stroke, the details of SB 375 and how others could get more involved. Thanks to all our YTC advocates who attended lobby day last year, emailed and/or met with their legislators and educated the public about the need for us to prevent and treat stroke. SB 375 is a big step forward for the state and we urge your continued involvement as we work to build a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
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