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Will you advocate for stroke victims?

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association will be holding our first ever Stroke Awareness Advocacy Day in Albany on May 27th to raise awareness of stroke.  ASA will set-up meetings and provide a training for all.  Participants will then meet with lawmakers and staff to discuss:

  • Stroke Incidence and Mortality
  • Stroke Disparities
  • Stroke Warning Signs and Treatment                   

If you would like to attend, register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T6GGPZX

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New Leadership in Albany

This week we saw a major shift in leadership at the state's Capitol. Senator Dean Skelos stepped down as New York State Senate Majority Leader amidst rising pressure from lawmakers and good government groups.

New York State Senator John Flanagan was selected by his colleagues as the new Senate Majority Leader.  Senator Flanagan was first elected to represent part of Suffolk County in 2002.  Prior to serving in the Senate, he served for 16 years in the New York State Assembly.  The American Heart Association worked closely with Senator Flanagan in our efforts to get students trained in CPR prior to graduation.  And we look forward to working with him to combat heart disease and stroke, the state's No. 1 and No. 5 killer of New Yorkers.

Please join us in welcoming Senator Flanagan to his new position and ask him to help in the fight against heart disease and stroke by clicking below:

http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=36732

 

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Advances in Stroke Treatment Just in Time for Stroke Month

Check out this great article from the Chicago Tribune on the advances in stroke treatment, just in time for Stroke Month. Based on findings from recent studies, stroke patients will benefit from advanced treatment offered by comprehensive stroke centers across the nation.

Hospitals in Illinois and across the country are changing the way they treat strokes after a battery of recent clinical trials found that swift surgical intervention improves the odds that patients will function normally again.

Instead of trying to break up the clots that cause strokes using only intravenous medicine, hospitals are increasingly offering a surgery along with the medicine while also speeding up treatment to reduce brain damage.

In the most recent of a half-dozen studies published in the past six months, 60 percent of patients who received both the surgery and the medicine regained the ability to walk, talk and live independently, while just 35 percent who received only the medicine recovered to the same degree, according to an article published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Continue reading here

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#StepUp4HeartHealth

Hundreds of You’re the Cure advocates are in Washington, D.C. today!   And we have a great group of NYers making the trip!  So what's everyone talking about?

Advocates will be telling lawmakers to support healthy school meals - Kids don't need junk food in schools. 

And we'll also be fighting for funding for medical research - it has the power to save lives.

You can help our advocates gathered in Washington, D.C. today in delivering a strong message to Congress – we can’t afford cuts to National Institutes of Health research. Take action here: http://p2a.co/9aEU5aY

Lets all #StepUp4HeartHealth

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A Winning Game for School Lunches and Research Funding!

At You’re the Cure on the Hill 2015, more than 380 AHA advocates and staff from all 50 states, plus DC —and thousands more back home—stepped up to the plate for healthy school lunches and medical research funding. This year, our Hill day theme was built off the great American game of baseball, something that could resonate with advocates and lawmakers alike and give them a rallying cry for the event: Step Up to the Plate! It was an invitation from advocates to lawmakers, asking them to get off the bench and into the game. And they knocked it out of the park.

It was one of our most exciting days on the Hill with a combination of passionate advocates meeting face-to-face with their lawmakers and thousands of supportive voices from around the country who backed them up with phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts. Together, our voices hit a home run for healthy school meals and heart and stroke research funding.

Advocates conducted 293 meetings with lawmakers, asking them to protect the progress made by the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act and support school nutrition standards. At the same time, advocates asked lawmakers to make heart disease and stroke research a national priority by increasing the budget of the National Institutes of Health.

Meanwhile, advocates back home around the country jumped in as pinch hitters to call and email their members of Congress and ask them to Step Up to the Plate. Capitol Hill received over 6,218 messages from constituents back home.

Throughout the day, we had so many all-star advocates who made the views, passions and needs of constituents known to their lawmakers in new and compelling ways. On top of that, we had two Congressional Award Winners who rounded out the team: Sen. Crapo (R-ID) and Sen. Mikulski (D-MD). They received the American Heart Association’s National Public Service Award, which has been granted biennially since 1982 to members of Congress who have actively promoted our mission. We are so thrilled to have their support!

Below is a snapshot of our day!

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Advocacy Avengers Assemble - FAST!!!

Guest Blogger: Marc Watterson, Utah Government Relations Director

Each May we have an opportunity to celebrate and educate on an issue that is close to all of us – stroke. As we have shared in the past, Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Utah – and it doesn’t have to be. With your support we have improved the systems of care in Utah for how stroke patients are treated in our local hospitals. The success stories that we have heard are remarkable and it is all thanks to you!

Many more people in Utah are recognizing stroke symptoms in the community because of FAST. Can you name the stroke warning signs?

  • Face droopiness, numbness and weakness
  • Arm numbness and weakness
  • Slurred speech or trouble speaking or understanding
  • Time to call 911 if these or other symptoms occur

More and more Utahns are becoming aware of these signs and acting accordingly when they see them in themselves or others. But more can be done. Nationally, nearly one-third of all Americans still don’t know the signs of a stroke.

Building on the success of our past stroke awareness initiatives, we’re continuing our efforts to educate the public on FAST signs – and have a little fun –  by joining the University of Utah Health Care in a new “Together to End Stroke” community education program. 

We are hosting several events in Salt Lake this month in hopes of creating “Stroke Heroes” among us!

  • Stroke heroes know what the acronym F.A.S.T. means and can recognize a stroke and act quickly by calling 9-1-1.
  • During a stroke emergency, stroke heroes are the ones who may help make the difference between life and death or full recovery and permanent disability.
  • They're the heroes we all want to be, proudly saving lives and quality of life. They're the heroes we want all around us, ever ready to help if we need them.
  • This American Stroke Month, we're inviting ordinary people of all ages and backgrounds to become stroke heroes.

Stay tuned for future details! If you would like more information on these events or would like to help volunteer as a Stroke Hero please contact Erica Olson with the AHA|ASA at erica.olson@heart.org. 

Together, with your help, WE ARE THE CURE for cardiovascular disease and stroke!

 

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May is Stroke Awareness Month


May brings the opportunity to discuss and educate on an issue that is more common than we want it to be – stroke. Stroke is the 6th leading cause of death in Washington yet only eight percent of those recently surveyed in the American Stroke Association/Ad Council Stroke Awareness Continuous Tracking Study could identify each letter in F.A.S.T., an acronym of the most common stroke warning signs.



F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Learn the F.A.S.T signs and share them with your friends and family. When you are done quiz each other by taking the F.A.S.T quiz!

As part of stroke awareness month we also want to recognize the many Stroke Heroes in our communities. A Stroke Hero is a survivor who overcomes a stroke; a caregiver or healthcare worker goes above and beyond to help others recover; a community member inspired to improve the health of others. This May – American Stroke Month – we invite you to honor a Stroke Hero by submitting an inspirational story for a Stroke Hero Award. Please send details and a photo by May 20, 2015. Nominees will be featured on local and national social media. For submission details visit heart.org/pugetsound.

Teaching people how to recognize a stroke and respond quickly is a primary goal of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, sponsored nationally by Medtronic. So let’s educate and hopefully minimize the damage stroke does in our communities.

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May is American Stroke Month

Anyone can have a stroke and everyone should be ready.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke and every 4 minutes, someone dies from a stroke. That is why The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is inviting all Americans to become Stroke Heroes by learning and sharing the warning signs of stroke, F.A.ST. (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1).

Recognizing and responding to a stroke emergency immediately can lead to quick stroke treatment and may even save a life. Be ready!

Here is how you can participate in American Stroke Month

  • Share the F.A.S.T. acronym with your friends, family and loved ones throughout American Stroke Month.
  • Share our F.A.S.T. Quiz to test your stroke knowledge.
  • Download our free Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. mobile app to prepare you in case of a stroke emergency and to have easy access.

Go to StrokeAssociation.org/StrokeMonth to learn more about how you can get involved.

 

 

 

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Advocate Spotlight: Bill Forester

Bill Forester recalls the moment he heard the doctors tell his family that he was gone. At 51-years-old, he was a college professor, realtor, director of labor and public speaker who led a healthy lifestyle. "I was a vegetarian, I ran and I never smoked," said Bill, which is why it was such a shock when he had a stroke that left him in a coma for three days.

Thankfully, Bill awoke, but was paralyzed and unable to speak. When he first regained some ability to speak, his vocabulary was limited to just four word, but he was determined to get his life back. At times, he would study a single sentence for hours just to learn it. "I wanted to fully recover, and I didn’t care what it took." After lengthy physical, occupational and speech therapy, Bill regained his speech and has even been able to run a half marathon. He has since found a new talent and passion--painting.

Bill offers some advice to others who are going through a similar situation. "Never, never give up!"

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Ryley Williams testifies to promote funding for pediatric stroke research

Ryley Williams was 15 years old, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound football player – and he was also the victim of a stroke.

Today, nearly three years after intense surgeries and still in ongoing physical therapy, he will be testifying before Congress on Wednesday to promote more funding for research and awareness about pediatric stroke. He and his mother will appear before a Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

His mother, Terri Rose of Bentonville, Arkansas, who will testify with him, said she wants lawmakers to remember Ryley when they start working on the budget.

This article originally appeared on the American Heart Association main website. Click here to read the entire article.

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