Now that 2015 is officially here, many have made resolutions to get back to the gym and eat right so that they can achieve a thinner waistline and more toned body.  Others have decided to make 2015 the year they quit smoking.  These are all great resolutions to stand by.  Not only will making these commitments improve your outward appearance, you will also improve your health, which in turn can significantly reduce your chances of stroke.


A local community organization, known as the Miami-Dade Stroke Consortium, has also made resolutions of its own- a major one being to educate the Miami-Dade community on stroke; considering many Americans do not know much about the disease, according to the American Stroke Association[i].


Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the US.  It is estimated that about 1 in 19 deaths in the United States are due to stroke[ii].  Stroke occurs in the brain due to a blocked or leaking blood vessel which in turn impairs the flow of oxygen into some area in the brain.   A prolonged lack of oxygen can lead to death or permanent disability. 


Although in 2013 stroke dropped from 4th to 5th place in mortality according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, stroke is still the leading cause of disability among adult Americans[iii].  Following a stroke, many survivors are left unable to work and require rehabilitation to improve function and increase their chances of recovery.  However, only about 10% of those who receive rehab fully recover, and around 25% recover with minor impairments[iv]


The chilling statistics on stroke are exactly why the Miami Dade Stroke Consortium was created.  The Miami-Dade Stroke Consortium was envisioned by neurologists, Dr. Alejandro Forteza and Dr. Jeffrey Horstmyer and incorporated into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on stroke research and community outreach in 2011.  The Consortium's leadership, which include Dr. Jeffrey Horstmyer, Dr. Alejandro Forteza, Firefighter Captain John Curry, and Firefighter Lt. Jeff Rouse, have created a network consisting of the 6 EMS services in Miami-Dade and 14 stroke hospitals in Miami-Dade to contribute stroke data for research.


One of the Consortium's research efforts for 2015 is to identify communities at-risk for stroke in Miami Dade and educate its residents on what the disease is, how it occurs, what the risk factors are, and how it is treated.  "Education will be carried out over local AM/FM radio so that we can ensure that we reach a significant amount of people in the at-risk communities. We feel that by educating the community in a way that they can relate will have an impact on their sensitivity to the classic signs of stroke which include facial droop and/or numbing, arm weakness, and speech impairment", says Dr. Alejandro Forteza, who will lead the research effort.


Education will not stop at the patient level though. To maximize our outreach efforts, the Stroke Consortium has also teamed up with the Health Council of South Florida to educate Primary Care Physicians on treating and educating patients on stroke.  According to the Health Council, about 40% Miami-Dade residents get their medical information from their PCP so targeting these providers was a top priority for the Stroke Consortium to reach as wide an audience as possible.


While the Stroke Consortium is excited to carry out its resolutions, it is not a secret that many personal resolutions do not carry through until the end of the year.  We should all take a minute to prioritize our lives and realize that our health should be at the top of the list.  With that said, make 2015 the year of getting healthy for a better outward and inward you.


The Miami-Dade Stroke Consortium is a sister foundation to the Neuroscience Centers of Florida Foundation.   NSCFF was established to improve healthcare delivery and address the unmet needs of patients afflicted with neurological diseases; namely, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Stroke.





Neuroscience Centers of Florida Foundation, Inc. 

Miami-Dade Stroke Consortium

2150 Coral Way, 8th Floor Miami, Florida  33145

Toll Free: 866.467.2873  |  Office: 305.856.8940  |  Facsimile: 305.456.3797