((L) Dr. Mahesh Jayaraman, Neurointerventional Radiologist, Rhode Island Medical Imaging and (R) Siobhain Sullivan, co-executive director, Rhode Island Medical Imaging forming the letter “A” to spell out the F.A.S.T stroke awareness acronym.)
Standing five feet tall, three feet wide and bright red, our new stroke awareness F.A.S.T. campaign could stop traffic.
And that’s the point. Stroke is the number five killer of men and women in the United States, but it is the number one cause of disability. May is Stroke Awareness Month.
The acrylic letters spell out F.A.S.T. – an easy acronym that can teach the warning signs and the appropriate actions to take when someone is having a stroke.
F.A.S.T. stands for: Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1. The F.A.S.T. display is interactive, letting visitors pose as the “A” in the word. Using the hashtag #SNEFast in the pictures that participants take in the display will help promote awareness of the F.A.S.T. campaign.
“Although strides continue to be made through research and awareness, stroke continues to take lives,” said Tara Comer, Executive Director, Southern New England American Heart Association. “When someone is having a stroke, time lost is brain lost. The ability to recognize a stroke quickly and call for help immediately is a leading predictor in patient outcomes.”
The Southern New England American Heart Association in partnership with Rhode Island Medical Imaging (RIMI) brought an interactive, educational F.A.S.T. display to shoppers at the Providence Place Mall on Wednesday, May 16th. This kick-off event launches a statewide event that will bring stroke awareness to communities across Rhode Island from now until the end of the year.
“Rhode Island Medical Imaging is proud to partner with the Southern New England American Heart Association and bring this important message to cities and towns across Rhode Island,” said Dr. John Pezzullo, president, Rhode Island Medical Imaging. “Understanding the signs and symptoms of a stroke can mean longer and healthier lives for a family’s loved ones.”
“We now have a cure for the most severe and disabling strokes, but our ability to execute that cure relies on early stroke recognition,” said Dr. Ryan McTaggart, neurointerventional radiologist, Rhode Island Medical Imaging, and chair of the 2019 Southern New England American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Ball. “Every minute faster we get these blood vessels re-opened, patients get another week of independent living to enjoy. That’s why this FAST campaign is so meaningful — its critical to recognize the signs of stroke and act FAST to save lives.”
The American Heart Association and RIMI will feature the F.A.S.T. display at additional places across the Ocean State including the Warwick Mall on May 18, on June 12 at the Rhode Island State House and on July 10 at the Narragansett Town Beach and August 15 at the PawSox Stadium. Other dates will be announced soon.
Individuals, businesses or organizations interested in displaying the F.A.S.T. letters can contact Southern New England American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Ball Director Donovan Evans at Donovan.Evans@Heart.org or 401-228-2326.