The American Heart Association (AHA), the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives announced today that Ryan McTaggart, M.D., a neurointerventional radiologist at Rhode Island Medical Imaging (RIMI), director of interventional neuroradiology at Rhode Island Hospital and an associate professor of diagnostic imaging, neurology, and neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, will serve as Chairman of the 2019 Southern New England Heart & Stroke Ball scheduled for Friday, September 27 at the Graduate Providence Hotel.
The 2019 Heart & Stroke Ball celebrates the volunteers, survivors and donors who bring the American Heart Association’s mission to life. This year, the event aims to highlight important themes: stroke care in Rhode Island, the state’s unparalleled access to a life-saving procedure called mechanical thrombectomy offered by RIMI physicians and the importance of the AHA’s Life Simple Seven (ideal cardiovascular health based on seven risk factors that people can improve through lifestyle changes: smoking status, physical activity, weight, diet, blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure) and technology to reduce the need for lifesaving procedures in patients with heart disease and stroke.
“It is an honor to serve as Chairman for the 2019 Heart & Stroke Ball,” said Dr. McTaggart. “Stroke is the number five killer of Americans and on average someone dies of a stroke every 3.7 minutes. By working with the American Heart Association, we can minimize the burden of this disease for all Rhode Islanders. Unlike cancer, we have a cure but we need to get everyone access to it. Better stroke recognition is the first hurdle we need to clear.”
“Each year, some 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke. Stroke will happen to 1 in 6 people and can happen to anyone at any time. That’s why knowing the acronym F.A.S.T. is so important,” said Dr. McTaggart.
To spot a stroke use the letters F.A.S.T. and know when to call 9-1-1.
- F – Face drooping
- A – Arm weakness
- S – Slurred speech
- T – Time to call 9-1-1.
“No one is going to tell you they are having a stroke. Recognizing these warning signs quickly may be the difference between recovery, disability or even death,” Dr. McTaggart said.
Dr. McTaggart’s research interest is in the minimally invasive therapy of neurovascular disease, including acute ischemic stroke. In addition, he is passionate about transforming systems of care for stroke patients to improve timely access to mechanical thrombectomy. His work has been published in more than 90 peer-reviewed journals, books and book chapters. He is a senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology and the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery and serves on the Standards and Guidelines Committee of the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery.
The 2019 Heart & Stroke Ball will take place on Friday, September 27 at the Graduate Providence Hotel. Local sponsors include Rhode Island Medical Imaging, CVS, KPMG, Lifespan, Plant City, Tasca Automotive Group, Navigant Credit Union, Bryant PA Program, Southcoast Health, Orange Theory. Media sponsors include ABC6 and iHeart Media.