HOUSTON – (March 12, 2018) – The sixth annual Stomp Out Stroke Festival to raise stroke awareness will be hosted by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Stroke Team from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at Discovery Green, Jones Lawn, 1500 McKinney Street. The free, fun event will provide lifesaving information about stroke prevention and treatment and will include free health screenings. Register today at http://www.strokefestival.org/.
Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospitals, formerly known as HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, is the title sponsor. Free health screenings and risk assessments will be offered including carotid ultrasound, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index, body fat percentage, abdominal aortic aneurysm, obstructive sleep apnea, memory and stroke risk. Adult and child-friendly education topics and interactive activities will be facilitated by physicians, pharmacists, nurses and dieticians.
Among the health care providers, UT Physicians, the medical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, will be providing blood pressure and bone density screenings. Students from Cizik School of Nursing and UTHealth School of Public Health will also be volunteering during the event.
The Children’s Zone will include information on brain basics, concussions, helmet and bike safety, migraines, an inflatable brain exhibit, an obstacle course and nutrition and fitness stations. Family fun will include face painting, a balloon twister and brain games. Stage performances will feature the McTeggart Irish Dancers of South Texas, Shingari’s School of Rhythm, Lion Dancing and Young Lyric, Houston’s “Hip Hop Princess.”
This year, there will be an optical illusions booth facilitated by McGovern Medical School students and a brain basics booth facilitated by neurology residents.
“We strive to motivate families to make positive health behavior changes to reduce their stroke risk and teach them self-care practices,” said Elizabeth Noser, M.D., assistant professor of neurology and the James C. Grotta, M.D. Chair in Neurological Recovery and Stroke at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “We want to inspire children to be owners of their own health and become health leaders of tomorrow.”
Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blockage or a rupture in an artery, depriving brain tissue of oxygen. It is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of disability. According to the American Stroke Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year – one every 40 seconds – and stroke costs the U.S. $34 billion a year. The only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic stroke, the most prevalent kind of stroke, is the clot-buster tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), which is most effective when given within three hours of the first signs of stroke.
In addition to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospitals, Stroke festival sponsors include THINK Neurology for Kids and Hard Hats for Little Heads, which is providing bicycle helmets to children with a donation from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) and TMA Foundation.
Participants are encouraged to share their photos using the hashtag #stompoutstroke.