STROKE AWARENESS SPEAKERS: From left to right are Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Muhammad Ahmad, Neurologist Dr. Sujata Gutti, Electrophysiologist Dr. Michael Antimisiaris, Neurologist and Medical Director of Stroke Program Dr. Naveed Ahmed, Physiatrist Dr. Sankar Chirumamilla and Stroke Program Coordinator Brigetta Collins.
Medical Leader | Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER

Stroke Awareness Day celebrated

Amy Charles

PIKEVILLE — On Wednesday, May 3, more than 200 people gathered in the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center Plaza for Pikeville Medical Center’s (PMC) free Stroke Awareness Day celebration. 


The event offered the public free lunch of grilled chicken and hamburgers, catered by PMC’s Food and Nutritional Services. Several health screenings were available to the public, including glucose, A1C, blood pressure, cholesterol, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), body mass index (BMI) and diabetic foot screenings.


Musical entertainment was provided by the Gospel Redeemers, a Christian band that has performed at this event for many years.


Neurologist and PMC’s Medical Director of the Stroke Program Dr. Naveed Ahmed spoke at the event about the importance of stroke prevention and treatment.  


“Stroke Awareness Day is about educating the community about stroke symptoms, early diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Ahmed. “But most important is to reflect on stroke prevention and risk factor modification.”


High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and tobacco abuse are among the most significant risk factors for stroke. A healthier diet, stopping smoking and frequent daily exercise are ways to modify these risks.


“I want to thank Mr. Walter May and Mrs. Juanita Deskins for their continued support in PMC’s Primary Stroke Program and in our ability to hold this very important community awareness event,” said Dr. Ahmed. “Thank you to the Primary Stroke Team, the speakers and organizers, and all of the volunteers who made Stroke Awareness Day a success.”


The National Stroke Association created National Stroke Awareness Month in hopes to further its mission to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke, the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. 


Nearly 795,000 people in the United States will have a stroke this year. While many of these strokes are preventable, most people cannot identify the warning signs or risk factors of stroke.  


The ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke can mean the difference between life and death.


Every second counts, so remember to act FAST.


Face:  Ask them to smile. Does one side of the face droop?


Arm:  Ask them to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?


Speech:  Ask them to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?


Time:  If any of these signs are observed, it’s time to call an ambulance.


“I am very appreciative to all who made Stroke Awareness Day 2017 a success,” said Brigetta Collins, PMC Stroke Program Coordinator. “It is a day to educate the community on signs and symptoms of stroke, as well as what can be done to reduce risk factors for stroke. I am proud to work for an organization such as Pikeville Medical’s Primary Stroke Center that allows us as employees to educate the public on preventive measures,” Collins continued. “I would like to thank all of the PMC employees and volunteers that made today a successful event!”


PMC is the only hospital in the region accredited as a Primary Stroke Center. This means that PMC demonstrates a commitment to the care of stroke patients by meeting a complex set of standards and requirements.


Pikeville Medical Primary Stroke Center has also received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite.


Dr. Ahmed is located on the eighth floor of the PMC Clinic. To make an appointment, please call 606-218-2208.