The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association launches the Together to End Stroke initiative to reduce disability, save lives

January 25, 2013 Categories: Program News, Stroke News

(Dallas, TX) (January 24, 2013) – The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association launches Together to End Stroke, a national initiative to bring stroke awareness to the forefront of Americans’ minds and to educate them that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.

Covidien, a global medical products leader and national sponsor of the initiative, is helping the Association to drive awareness with a stated goal of building healthier lives by reducing disability and death from stroke by 20 percent by 2020.

According to a survey commissioned by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in November 2011, 93 percent of Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern, despite the fact that it is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of long-term, severe disability. Even more telling is that about half of Americans know someone who has had a stroke.

When it comes to knowing the stroke warning signs, only about two out of three Americans can correctly identify at least one sign. Together to End Stroke is helping Americans more easily recognize the stroke warning signs that come on suddenly through a quick and easy acronym called, F.A.S.T:

F - Face drooping

A - Arm weakness

S - Speech difficulty

T - Time to call 9-1-1.

The Association is teaching that when someone recognizes a stroke and acts fast by calling 9-1-1, they have a greater chance of getting to an appropriate hospital quickly and improving the outcome.

“The survey results are concerning and emphasize the need to do a much better job to make stroke awareness a priority across the nation. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is committed to leading this effort. We have to take people from a place of not knowing and not talking about stroke to a place of enlightenment and empowerment that together and individually, we can end stroke,” said Ralph L. Sacco, MD, MS, FAHA, FAAN, chairman of Neurology and executive director, McKnight Brain Institute; chief of Neurology, Jackson Memorial Miller School of Medicine University of Miami and past president of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“We are so thankful that Covidien has stepped up to the plate as our first funder of this initiative, which will help us to provide the knowledge, tools and support to vastly reach stroke survivors, caregivers, friends and family of survivors, at-risk populations and medical professionals,” he said.

“Covidien is proud to sponsor the Together to End Stroke initiative. We recognize the importance that early detection and treatment can have on improving outcomes for stroke patients,” said Mark A. Turco, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Vascular Therapies, Covidien. “We look forward to collaborating with the AHA/ASA to build awareness about stroke, and to help efforts for stroke prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”

The Together to End Stroke initiative, which will officially launch February 6 - 8 at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, will focus on tools and resources across the stroke continuum of care in the areas of prevention, pre-event, acute event and post stroke/rehabilitation and will include national branding and messaging, an online and digital strategy, local grassroots events and multicultural outreach.

To join the Together to End Stroke initiative and to access information and patient education resources to help bring stroke awareness to your community, visit


About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — America’s No. 4 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent, treat and beat stroke. The Dallas-based association was created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit   

Contact: Toiya Honoré;; (214) 706-1456