In recognition of May as National Stroke Awareness Month, NINDS is
sponsoring a radio media tour featuring Dr. Richard Benson, program
director in the NINDS Office of Minority Health and Research, and
Dr. Jose Merino, a staff clinician in the stroke diagnostics and
|Dr. Richard Benson, program director in
the NINDS Office of Minority Health and Research, takes calls
during a radio media tour to raise stroke awareness.
The tour — part of the institute's "Know Stroke. Know the
Signs. Act in Time." public education campaign — includes
both live and taped interviews on radio stations across the country
and is expected to reach an audience of more than 16 million people.
During the interviews, Merino and Benson inform listeners about
the increased incidence of stroke among Hispanics and African Americans,
and the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of the
disease and of calling 911 immediately.
NINDS also expanded its campaign with a grassroots education program
called "Know Stroke in the Community." The NIH-CDC program targets
cities that have a high incidence of stroke; a large population
of African Americans, Hispanics and seniors; and excellent health
care systems to treat acute stroke patients. In each city, NINDS
identifies and trains more than a dozen "stroke champions" and
asks them to bring stroke education messages and materials out
to these key communities. This month, Atlanta will become the 10th
city to participate in the program.
Stroke occurs in more than 700,000 people in the United States
each year and is the third leading cause of death for all Americans.
For African Americans, the disease is more common and more deadly
than for any ethnic or racial group in the U.S. Hispanics ages
35 to 64 are 1.3 times more likely to have a stroke than whites
in the same age group.
The goals of the tour are to increase the very low numbers of
stroke patients — especially in the Hispanic and African-American
communities — who get to the hospital in time to receive
the most effective treatment possible, which may spare them from
lifelong disability, and to stress the importance of knowing the
signs and symptoms of stroke.