To help Arkansans learn how to survive stroke, the Arkansas Travelers are making May 4 “Strike Out Stroke Night” in partnership with AR SAVES, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)-led statewide stroke program.
A helicopter will bring Sanjeeva Reddy Onteddu, MD, AR SAVES medical director, to North Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Park to deliver baseballs for the game’s first-pitch ceremony, all strikes against stroke.
Stroke survivors will be honored and recognized on the field, and one survivor will throw the first pitch. Gates will open at 6 p.m. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. against the Tulsa Drillers.
Volunteers from AR SAVES (Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support) sites around the state will give stroke education and toss stress brains into the stands.
The 18-by-14-by-12-foot, inflatable Mega Brain also will be on display for visitors. They will be able to walk through an anatomically correct, inflatable model of the human brain. At numerous public events, the Mega Brain has demonstrated its popularity and effectiveness as a tool for educating about the human brain, stroke and other neurological injuries and diseases.
AR SAVES stroke survivors will be honored guests at the game. Their presence in a reserved seating section will serve as a reminder to others that calling 911 and getting to the hospital fast can prevent stroke death and disability.
Arkansas ranks sixth in the nation in stroke death rates. Surviving a stroke is becoming more likely as more community hospitals join the 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 Center for Distance Health, the state Department of Human Services and 51 Arkansas hospitals.