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 in 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 hear about are remarkable and it is all thanks to you!
One of the things that we have seen real movement on is the recognition of stroke signs in the community. FAST, can you name them?
- 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 seem them in themselves or others. But more can be done. Nationally, nearly one third of all Americans don’t know the signs. So, to celebrate our successes, familiarize ourselves with proven stroke prevention, educate the public on FAST signs – and have a little fun – we have been partnering with University of Utah Health Care in our “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 Support Group – May 17th, 5:00 - 6:30 pm @ AHA|ASA Salt Lake Office (465 S 400 East, Suite 110)
- For survivors, friends and families affected by stroke. This is an opportunity for individuals to share their successes and challenges, connect with others, and realize that you’re not alone! Caregivers are welcome to attend this group meeting as well. This month’s guest speaker will be speaking about Occupational Therapy.
- USOAR – Utah Stroke Outdoor Activity and Recreation, May 18th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm @ Liberty Park, Northeast Corner (600 E 900 S)
- The University of Utah Health Sciences Program is having their kickoff event for this program. Activities will focus on ways to help stroke survivors adapt to outdoor activities and how these can help with rehab. Activities like biking, golfing, rafting, bowling, and more will be showcased!
- Striking Out Stroke, May 25th, 11:30 -1:30 pm @ City Creek Shopping Center (40 East South Temple)
- The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association, in conjunction with our “Together to End Stroke” community partner, University of Utah Health Care, will be putting on a special event downtown. We’ll have a pitching area for participants to show off their pitching skills, an on-site vehicle from 101.5 The Eagle to share some tunes, and heart-healthy snacks for all to enjoy!
- Savings Strokes – June 17th, 10:30 – 1:00 pm at Nibley Park Golf Course (2780 S 700 E, Salt Lake City)
- A free opportunity for stroke survivors and their caretakers to participate in golf for pleasure as well as for physical rehabilitation. This year’s event is sponsored by University of Utah Health Care and will feature a free lunch for participants.
If you would like more information on these events or would like to volunteer to help us out please contact Lavinia Sasaki with the AHA|ASA at Lavinia.Sasaki@heart.org.
Together, with your help, WE ARE THE CURE for cardiovascular disease and stroke!