Over 600 Richmonders were informed and entertained at the 6th annual Power to End Stroke® Jazz Night held on May 23rd at the Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia. Guests attended a variety of workshops on topics like medication management, healthy cooking and managing risk factors. They even experienced what it felt like to have a stroke through an interactive art project and received answers to their medical questions with one-on-one access to doctors. Hearts also got pumping during the ever-popular line dancing classes.
During the seated program, attendees enjoyed a heart healthy dinner, learned more about stroke from a panel of medical experts and were inspired by the story of a local stroke survivor. The evening ended with a live jazz performance that got guests out of their seats and dancing.
Co-host, Bon Secours credits this event for increasing the level of stoke awareness among the African American community. The hospital system has seen a significant increase in the number of African American patients that are tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) eligible over the past six years. Stroke patients receiving a clot busting drug like tPA have a lower risk for disability afterward.
Ms. Jones, who attended the event last year and again this year, said, “I started last year at this event taking my blood pressure, and it was 143 over 90. Today it is 124 over 68. Because of this event,I started checking, and I have invited my friends to do the same.”
Around 81% of the guests surveyed had at least one risk factor for stroke, and 99% of them pledged to make a lifestyle change as a result of the information they learned during the event.
The American Heart Association, Richmond is working with local partners to improve access to and consumption of healthy foods, catalyze efforts to improve social determinants of health and improve access to and quality of primary care in Greater Richmond. We are grateful for our volunteers and supporters who are a relentless force for longer, healthier lives for everyone in the Richmond area. Keeping hearts beating is what keeps our hearts pumping.