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Vol. LX, No. 10
May 16, 2008
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Girl Scouts, Nursing Students Join NINDS Stroke Education Effort

Dr. Sharon Hrynkow

Top:
Girl Scout Troop 750 in Jacksonville, Fla., worked with members of the Stroke Program at the Neuroscience Institute at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center to promote NINDS’s “Know Stroke in the Community” program.

Bottom:
The Girl Scouts also worked with University of North Florida nursing students to promote the stroke campaign, which was designed to educate the public about signs and symptoms of stroke as well as early activation of the emergency medical system to access care. Here the scouts and two UNF nurses gather for a photo with members of the Shands Medical Center EMT unit.

Girl Scout Troop 750 in Jacksonville, Fla., recently partnered with nursing students from the University of North Florida to implement the “Know Stroke in the Community” program.

The program—part of NINDS’s “Know Stroke. Know the Signs. Act in Time.” campaign—was designed to educate the public about the risk factors, signs and symptoms of stroke, as well as early activation of the emergency medical system to access care. The program identifies and trains “stroke champions” in each community. The champions then present stroke information to the community via various events.

The Jacksonville Know Stroke program was developed by NINDS, the Neuroscience Institute at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Duval County health department. Jacksonville was one of the first cities to launch the Know Stroke community program.

As part of their Community Nursing Course—which made up the last semester of their training program—the nursing students were tasked to find community-based groups that would be willing to become stroke champions. The students would help the groups get started using the program and then mentor them as they delivered the program to the community.

The Girl Scouts were looking for a community project to help them finish their Gold Award project. The award—equivalent to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout level—is the highest award a Girl Scout age 14-18 can earn. Five girls—ranging in age from 15 to 17—were trained to become champions. Over 2 months, they presented the Know Stroke program 20 times (at separate events and dates) and were able to reach approximately 400 people.

“This outstanding effort by the Girl Scouts in Jacksonville is exactly what we had in mind when we developed the ‘Know Stroke in the Community’ program,” said Marian Emr, director of the NINDS Office of Communications and Public Liaison. “By becoming champions, and teaching people about the importance of recognizing stroke symptoms and seeking medical treatment promptly, these young women are contributing to the health of their local community.” NIHRecord Icon

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