LITTLE ROCK — To help Arkansans learn how to survive stroke, the Arkansas Travelers are making May 23 “Strike Out Stroke Night” in partnership with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) stroke program.
A helicopter will bring Sanjeeva Onteddu, M.D., a UAMS stroke neurologist, to North Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Park to deliver baseballs for the game’s first-pitch ceremony.
Stroke survivors will be recognized on the field, and UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, and one survivor, Timothy Raines of Arkadelphia, will throw the first pitches. Gates will open at 6:10 p.m. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. against the Springfield Cardinals.
Volunteers will provide stroke education and toss brain-shaped stress toys into the stands. A volunteer selected from the stands will participate in a card game about stroke symptoms and win prizes.
UAMS Medical Center in July became the first and only health care provider in Arkansas to be certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.
The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
“Achieving Comprehensive Stroke Center designation places UAMS among the top stroke centers in the country that have the resources and highly skilled health care teams with advanced training to handle the most complex stroke cases,” Patterson said.
Arkansas ranks seventh in the nation in stroke death rates after many years in first place. Surviving a stroke is becoming more likely as more community hospitals join the UAMS Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support (AR SAVES) network.
The program uses a high-speed video communications system to help provide immediate, life-saving treatments to stroke patients 24 hours a day. The real-time video communication enables a stroke neurologist to evaluate whether emergency room physicians should use a clot-busting blood thinner within the critical three-hour period following the first signs of stroke.
“Events like Strike Out Stroke are an important part of UAMS’ mission — reaching out to other areas of the state and helping local physicians identify patients with stroke and improve the patients’ outcomes,” said Renee Joiner, AR SAVES director. “The Travelers have been a steadfast partner over the years in helping us do that.”
The AR SAVES program is a partnership of the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation, the state Department of Human Services and 55 Arkansas hospitals.