Friday, November 26, 2010

Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic Pilot Open At PCH

Welcome to all our stroke recovery and at risk readers,

Here is the long awaited news that one more piece of the Organized Stroke Care Model for P.E.I. is now in place. The details are included in the following government press release dated November 25, 2010.

November 25, 2010
For immediate release
Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot up and running at Prince County Hospital

Health PEI
The first phase of the Organized Stroke Care Model for Prince Edward Island is now complete with the launch of the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot at Prince County Hospital (PCH), says Health and Wellness Minister Carolyn Bertram.
“Government remains committed to implementing a provincial Organized Stroke Care model to help improve the lives of Islanders who are either at risk of suffering a stroke or who have suffered a stroke,” said Minster Bertram. “It is important that we continue work in partnership with Health PEI to promote a timely and coordinated provincial approach to prevention, early assessment and comprehensive care by interdisciplinary health care teams across the continuum of care. The establishment of the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot at Prince County Hospital is a key part of that approach and will lay the foundation for future clinics across the Island.”
Secondary stroke prevention is focussed on patients who have already experienced a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a non-disabling stroke, and those who are at high risk of stroke.
“The Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot provides out-patient follow-up care for acute TIA patients and post-acute stroke patients,” said Dr. Doug Carmody, Internist at PCH and medical lead for the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot. “This pilot offers a patient-centred approach to specifically address risk factors for stroke including assistance with lifestyle management and assessment by a coordinated clinical staff with specialized training in TIA and stroke management.”
People who suffer a stroke or a TIA are at high risk of recurrent strokes and other vascular events. Quick identification of risk factors and appropriate treatment is critical to prevent further strokes and the possibility of even greater damage and disability. A TIA is an important warning sign that a person is at increased risk of a full-blown stroke.
Major risk factors for stroke include age, high blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. 83 per cent of Islanders have at least one of these major risk factors and 45 per cent have at least two.
The Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot will initially receive referrals for patients who have been identified as having a known or suspected acute TIA or stroke and who live within the Prince County catchment area. The purpose of the pilot is to evaluate and plan for the appropriate resource requirements prior to expanding the Secondary Stroke Prevention service provincially.
The establishment of the pilot at PCH completes the first phase of the three-phased Organized Stroke Care Model for Prince Edward Island. Government has invested $2.1 million into phase one which includes the Secondary Stroke Prevention Pilot Clinic at PCH, as well as creating and filling a Provincial Stroke Care Coordinator position and instituting an acute in-patient stroke unit and in-patient stroke rehabilitation unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Phase two, includes the establishment of district-level ambulatory stroke rehabilitation services, a provincial roll-out of secondary stroke prevention services, and provincial stroke rehabilitation assessment clinic. Phase three includes the establishment of community re-integration services. Phases two and three will be implemented over the next two years.
Health PEI is responsible for coordinating and delivering Organized Stroke Care services.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability. In PEI, there are approximately 350 strokes annually – this equals about one stroke every day.
Media Contact: Amanda Hamel
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Gary Gray Speaks To Southern Kings Arts Council

By Tom Rath
Writing is more than an art form, it's a way to exercise one’s creativity, guest speaker Gary Gray of Montague said at this month’s meeting of the Southern Kings Arts Council.
"For me, as a stroke survivor, it is both a form of escape, and a way to help me discover and develop what I call my new normal," Mr Gray said.
"The stories of my childhood that you read in Prince Edward Island Tales are not just my latest writings. They are my first writings, too. I joined the Montague Library Writers Group because I found writing was good therapy for me."
Always an active participant in community affairs, Mr Gray suffered a major stroke eight years ago while stopping for coffee. After a blurred three weeks of CAT scans and semi-consciousness, he awoke to the realization that his entire world had changed.
Mr Gray faced major challenges in learning once again how to walk, talk and dress under conditions of fatigue, depression and anxiety. Even sitting up to eat took effort. A left-handed man with a paralyzed left side has much to learn.
"It’s more than just regaining physical strength," Mr Gray said. "After all, much of what we do doesn’t happen in the hands, but in the brain itself. I had to battle memory loss and fuzzy thinking, and somehow teach my brain how to survive and succeed under these new conditions."
Part of his progress stemmed from involvement in a new writing group formed at the Montague Library.
"By putting words down on paper, I helped clear my thoughts and my thinking patterns. That, plus my involvement with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, gave me new accomplishments – skills, strengths and reassurance that while I’m not necessarily the old Gary Gray, I am the new Gary Gray. I am surviving and succeeding in my new normal."
The Southern Kings Arts Council exists to support the arts community, and to enhance public awareness and appreciation of the arts in this region of Prince Edward Island. Guest speaker meetings are held in the boardroom of Active Communities, Main Street, Montague, at 7:30pm on the third Tuesday of most months, and are open to the public. Admission is free