Sunday, July 17, 2016

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke

I want to thank Monica VestWheeler for posting here on our blog this past month her articles and pictures of our recent camps. She is a great photographer with the ability to get that photo that captures the emotion of that exact moment. THANK YOU MONICA!!!
Stroke patients’ outcomes better in hospitals using guidelines-based program


Stroke patients treated at hospitals participating in a guidelines-based program are more likely to be discharged home and less likely to die within 30 days and one year, according to a new study.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, showed that patients who received treatment at hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (click on this link for more details) were 10 percent more likely than those in non-participating hospitals to be discharged home, rather than to a rehabilitation center or other facility.

Furthermore, 30 days and one year after discharge, patients from participating hospitals were 7 percent to 8 percent less likely to have died.

The findings mean that participating hospitals would discharge 12 more stroke patients home for every 1,000 patients than non-participating hospitals, and 34 fewer patients would have died within one year.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke, established by the AHA/American Stroke Association in 2003, helps hospitals provide stroke patients with the latest, most effective treatment for stroke. More than 1,600 hospitals have registered to receive patient management toolkits, access to workshops, decision support and many other resources.

“We know that in the past the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program was associated with improved processes of care, such as appropriate medications and other interventions to prevent complications,” said Sarah Song, M.D., lead author of the study and an assistant professor in neurology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “Now we know that this improved care translates into improved clinical outcomes.”

For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service for 366 hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines-Stroke and 366 non-participating hospitals. About half of the 173,985 Medicare stroke patients in the study received treatment at hospitals participating in the program.

A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by fatty substances or a blood clot, interrupting blood flow to the brain. Without immediate treatment, cells in the brain begin to die, resulting in brain damage, paralysis or even death.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, killing someone about every four minutes. The F.A.S.T. acronym is used to help people recall key symptoms of a stroke: face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call 911.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Lots of ooohs and aaahs at Ohio camp

By Monica Vest Wheeler
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Staff Volunteer

The beauty of Stroke Camp is that every weekend is different, and that's why it's a healthy addiction for our staff and volunteers.

It's all because of who is there, and why each camp is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our founder and executive director Marylee Nunley has always said that whoever attends a camp is there for a reason … making unique connections, learning new life lessons and so much more. I like to think it's also taking life to new heights.

Our second annual camp in Ohio was no different. Thanks to our sponsors, OhioHealth and the OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital, we had a most amazing June weekend at the Salt Fork Lodge & Conference Center in Lore City.

I learned so much from these stroke survivors and their caregivers this weekend, as I do at every Stroke Camp. Life truly is about being connected to one another, and these folks "get" it …

Monday, July 4, 2016

Much to celebrate with gift of music at Strike Out Stroke

By Monica Vest Wheeler
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Staff Volunteer

Despite what the headlines tell us, there is much to celebrate in America this 4th of July week. That was emphasized this past weekend at our annual Strike Out Stroke event at the Peoria Chiefs, sponsored by OSF HealthCare and Illinois Neurological Institute.

This year our Dream Team featured individuals who survived their stroke at an early age, and that's why they're wearing our new T-shirt, "Strokes aren't just for seniors." We're seeing more and more young survivors at our Stroke Camps across the country.

We were fortunate to feature the Chime Strokers, a tone chimes choir made up of stroke survivors and caregivers here in the Peoria area. They performed while survivor Randy Randall sang "God Bless America" and caregiver Monica Mugavero sang the National Anthem.

Enjoy their performances as the soundtrack for images from the evening.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Healing, lifting and enriching lives in Prescott

By Monica Vest Wheeler
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Staff Volunteer

Seems like yesterday we were in Prescott, AZ, for another amazing Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp, sponsored by Dignity Health.

To reconnect with campers and volunteers I met at our very first camp in fall 2011 and to meet new folks is a privilege beyond words. At every camp, no matter the location, I discover the power of Stroke Camp and how it heals, lifts and enriches lives in so many ways.

There was an abundance of laughter and even some healthy tears this weekend in Prescott as you could not help but be transformed by everything and everyone surrounding you and touching your life in unique ways.

Soak in the smiles and the true meaning of life …

Monday, June 20, 2016

Memorable moments in Miami

By Monica Vest Wheeler
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Staff Volunteer

It was so exciting to be part of our second camp of the year and the first camp near Miami in mid-May, thanks to the sponsorship of Medtronic, in Association with Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

It's always so rewarding to be present for the birthing of the new camp, and this camp in Delray Beach was no exception. It was my first for the year, and there was much to do and learn with the new theme and activities built around a strong foundation that was started in 2004 by our founder Marylee Nunley and her husband John, a stroke survivor.

There's magic at every camp, and the Miami camp gave us many memorable moments. Here are just a few …