American Heart Association Begins Nationwide Minority Stroke Awareness Campaign
The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association on Sunday launched the "Power to End Stroke" campaign, which urges minority churches and community leaders across the nation to raise awareness about stroke prevention, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Blacks are four times more likely than others to have a stroke between ages 35 and 54 because of genetics, Emil Matarese, director of the Primary Stroke Center at Langhorne, Pa.-based St. Mary Medical Center and a representative for the American Stroke Association, said. About 80% of blacks who have a stroke die, compared with 52% of others.
According to the Inquirer, many people delay treatment for strokes because they do not recognize the symptoms. In addition, some people do not receive treatment because they lack health insurance or transportation, Theresa Conejo, a nurse and community activist, said. The "Power to End Stroke" initiative is named after a song by singer Luther Vandross, who suffered a massive stroke in 2003 and died in 2005 (Holmes, Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/6).
Participating congregations will conduct special sermons and hold health fairs and other events throughout the month as part of the effort. Yolanda King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and a national ambassador for "Power to End Stroke," on Sunday spoke at her father's church in Atlanta. Yolanda King's mother, Coretta Scott King, had a stroke in 2005 and died in 2006.
"The goal is to create a movement around the racial differences in stroke and drive home the message that it's preventable," Lindsay Kuhnle, spokesperson for AHA, said (Kirkendoll, Flint Journal, 5/6).