St. Mary Hosts Take 2 to Save 2 Educational Event

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 Education News
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LANGHORNE, Pa., April 19 St. Mary Medical Center will host Take 2 to Save 2 on May 2 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Northampton Valley Country Club, 10 Harmony Drive, in Richboro, PA, in partnership with the American Stroke Association and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The program features nationally recognized Gospel Music performers Myron Butler and Dottie Peoples; famous comedian Charles Walden; and Dr. Emil Matarese, a national ambassador for the American Stroke Association's "Power to End Stroke" campaign and director of the Primary Stroke Center at St. Mary. Prominent entertainers, sports figures, and Gospel music choirs from Trenton to Philadelphia have also been invited to attend this event for stroke prevention.

"May is American Stroke Month and this is an ideal time to raise awareness in the African-American communities about the risk factors and warning signs of stroke and the need to seek treatment quickly," says Dr. Matarese. "Most strokes are preventable or treatable with immediate intervention, and we must get the message out to all, especially those at highest risk, to take action now."

Take 2 to Save 2 will help spread the American Stroke Association's message through an informative speaker program, and entertainment. Guests will receive educational information about stroke risk factors, warning signs, and the effects of stroke.

The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, launched its Take 2 to Save 2 campaign in February encouraging people to send life-changing health messages to those who may be at risk for stroke. This campaign urges people to send at least two health messages to two people who may be at risk for stroke. People can select and view the type of message to send from these categories and take 2 minutes to send via phone, e-mail, text message, tweet, or other social media:

People can participate in Take 2 to Save 2 by visiting or texting Take2 to 64244. This far-reaching awareness campaign seeks to empower all to take an active role in preventing stroke. Take 2 to Save 2 encourages people to talk to their doctors to determine whether they are at risk for stroke, and are advised to follow the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 to prevent a stroke. The seven steps are: Get active, eat better, lose weight, stop smoking, control cholesterol, manage blood pressure, and reduce blood sugar.

Stroke continues to have a devastating effect on the African-American population as they have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke compared to the risk for Caucasians. African Americans from the ages of 35 to 54 have four times the relative risk for stroke. The risk of stroke is higher for those with heart-related medical problems, such as high blood pressure, heart or carotid artery disease, and other health-related problems, such as obesity and uncontrolled diabetes. Other risk factors include smoking, excessive alcohol use, drug abuse, physical inactivity, family history, and age - those who are 55 and older are at the greatest risk.

"Many people do not know that the devastating effects of stroke can be mitigated or prevented through treatment. The one major roadblock to this problem is time. Stroke victims have a three-hour window to seek emergency care and access new stroke treatments in order to have the best possible outcome and reduce the lasting effects of stroke," says Matarese. "Education is the key. I encourage people to send this message to others they care about."

Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a clot-busting drug that may significantly reduce long-term disability if a stroke victim is an eligible candidate for the drug and if treatment begins within the first three hours of the onset of stroke.

St. Mary Medical Center is home to the Primary Stroke Center, one of the region's first stroke centers to have gained the Gold Seal of Approval for stroke care from the Joint Commission. St. Mary's Primary Stroke Center and its multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals offer patients an integrated emergency response team and an Emergency Department-based Rapid Response Stroke Team to recognize and treat stroke as quickly as possible.

-- LIVE - personal risk assessment -- RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND - warning signs and treatment -- KNOW MY FAMILY HISTORY - create a family tree -- HELP MY COMMUNITY - sign up to become a Power to End Stroke ambassador -- GET FIT - 30/60/90 day fitness plan -- BE PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE - know how stroke can affect family finances -- BREATHE - smoking cessation -- BE COMPLIANT - adhere to proper medicine management

SOURCE St. Mary Medical Center

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