Rich thought it was just a headache. Erik felt dizzy and queasy. Denise had a headache and neck pain. Paula collapsed. Turns out, each of them had a stroke. On Wednesday, May 27th, they joined with volunteers from across the state at the Capitol for the first ever American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Stroke Awareness Day.
Stroke survivors, neurologists and advocates met with their elected officials to stress the importance of stroke care. They asked lawmakers to make stroke a priority by supporting legislation creating a three tiered system of stroke centers. Time is brain for stroke victims. A three tiered system will help ensure stroke victims get the care they need quickly. Thanks to their efforts, our first ever Stroke Awareness Advocacy Day was a tremendous success with visits to over 40 lawmakers' offices! Even more exciting, many lawmakers have since signed as co-sponsors of the STROKE legislation!
Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz, D-Queens, introduced A7610 to create the three-tiered system which recognizes:
- Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals
- Primary Stroke Centers
- Comprehensive Stroke Centers
“I was surprised to learn that stroke is the No. 5 killer of all Americans,” Simanowitz said. “The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is doing a good job educating people about the symptoms of stroke and the importance of acting quickly. I’m proud to introduce legislation that will make sure the next step gets proper care for victims of stroke.”
“We have made great improvements in stroke care, and I am honored to join American Heart Association/American Stroke Association advocates in asking for legislation that will further improve that care,” said Dr. Dana Leifer of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. “When a person suffers a stroke, time is brain. By implementing a tiered stroke care system in the state, we will ensure patients go to the most appropriate facility to receive treatment rapidly, improving outcomes.”
“My stroke surprised me, and I waited three days before going to the emergency room,” said Eric Jackson of Schenectady, who will be at the Stroke Awareness Day. “I want everyone to recognize the symptoms and get good – and prompt - care. I have made a good recovery. I want it to be easy for the right treatment to be given, so I hope the New York Legislature creates this three-tiered level of stroke care.”
In addition, a stroke survivors gallery was unveiled and blood pressure screenings were available to all. High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke.