The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association launches the Together to End Stroke initiative to reduce disability

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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is to launch the Together to End Stroke, a national initiative to bring stroke awareness to the forefront of Americans’ minds and to educate them that stroke is largely preventable and treatable.

Covidien, a global medical products leader and national sponsor of the initiative, is helping the Association to drive awareness with a stated goal of building healthier lives by reducing disability and death from stroke by 20% by 2020.

According to a survey commissioned by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in November 2011, 93% of Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern, despite the fact that it is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of long-term, severe disability.

Together to End Stroke has identified stroke symptoms that can be easily recognised:

F—Face drooping

A—Arm weakness

S —Speech difficulty
T —Time to call 911

“The survey results are concerning and emphasise the need to do a much better job to make stroke awareness a priority across the nation. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is committed to leading this effort. We have to take people from a place of not knowing and not talking about stroke to a place of enlightenment and empowerment that together and individually, we can end stroke,” said Ralph L Sacco, chairman of Neurology and executive director, McKnight Brain Institute; chief of Neurology, Jackson Memorial Miller School of Medicine University of Miami, USA.

“We are so thankful that Covidien has stepped up to the plate as our first funder of this initiative, which will help us to provide the knowledge, tools and support to vastly reach stroke survivors, caregivers, friends and family of survivors, at-risk populations and medical professionals,” he said.

“Covidien is proud to sponsor the Together to End Stroke initiative. We recognise the importance that early detection and treatment can have on improving outcomes for stroke patients,” said Mark A Turco, chief medical officer, Vascular Therapies, Covidien. “We look forward to collaborating with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to build awareness about stroke, and to help efforts for stroke prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”

The Together to End Stroke initiative, which will officially launch 6–8 February at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, will focus on tools and resources across the stroke continuum of care in the areas of prevention, pre-event, acute event and post stroke/rehabilitation and will include national branding and messaging, an online and digital strategy, local grassroots events and multicultural outreach.

To join the Together to End Stroke initiative and to access information and patient education resources to help bring stroke awareness to your community, visit strokeassociation.org/together.

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