Stroke Awareness competition

Stroke Picture smallValue Health Partners (VHP), a group of seven Michigan healthcare organizations including Bronson, has announced the winners of its second annual Stroke Awareness video competition open to high school students in the areas served by VHP’s member organizations.

In recognition of National Stroke Awareness Month in May, students were encouraged to submit a 60-second public service video that captured the “FAST” message to help the public easily recall stroke symptoms and know what to do.

Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Carolynn Zinsmaster of Schoolcraft High School is the winner in the southwest Michigan area served by Bronson Methodist Hospital. Each high school with a winning entry receives prize money from their local hospital in the amount of $1,000. One overall Michigan Winner is also selected to receive an additional $500 in prize money from VHP. The winning videos can be viewed on the 2012 VHP Stroke Awareness Video Contest Winners YouTube playlist.

They include:

• Stroke: A Survivor’s Story – Jeff Cushman, Sydney Owens and Jordan Cardenas, Heritage High School, Saginaw. (Overall Michigan Winner)

• Stroke PSA – Tyler Griffin, Luke Kelly and Dylan Lusky, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD), Traverse City.

• Think Fast, Act Fast – Lynsey Bettig and Allex Schaap, Rockford High School, Rockford.

• Stroke: Act F-A-S-T – Carolynn Zinsmaster, Schoolcraft High School, Schoolcraft.

Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability. The devastating consequences of stroke and the opportunity to avoid disability motivated VHP to focus on raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke. VHP’s three-prong strategy encompasses community awareness, EMS standards of practice and Emergency Department process improvements. These three strategies are aimed to improve stroke survival rates by reducing the amount of time before care is provided at an emergency department. Patients must call 911 and immediately go to the Emergency Department at the onset of symptoms. Important medication can be given if they arrive within a 3-hour window. Treatment should start in the ambulance. This year’s entries all did a great job of spreading these important messages.

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