LITTLE ROCK — To help Arkansans learn how to survive stroke, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals baseball team is making its April 7 opening game of the 2016 season “Strike Out Stroke Night” in partnership with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)-led statewide stroke program, AR SAVES.
A helicopter will bring Washington Regional Medical Center neurologist Margaret Tremwel, M.D., to Arvest Park in Springdale to deliver the ball for the first pitch ceremony. Tremwel is one of four stroke neurologists in the state and a member of the AR SAVES team. Gates will open at 5 p.m., and the game starts at 6:25 p.m. against the RoughRiders of Frisco, Texas.
Volunteers from AR SAVES (Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support) sites around the state will work at stroke education booths, and brain-shaped stress toys will be thrown into the stands.
The 18-by-14-by-12-foot, inflatable Mega Brain also will be on display for visitors. They will be able to walk through an anatomically correct, inflatable model of the human brain. At numerous public events, the Mega Brain has demonstrated its popularity and effectiveness as a tool for teaching others about the human brain, stroke and other neurological injuries and diseases.
AR SAVES stroke survivors will be honored guests at the Naturals game. Their presence in a reserved seating section will serve as a reminder to others that getting to the hospital quickly can prevent stroke death and disability.
Arkansas ranks sixth in the nation in stroke death rates, a recent improvement from first. Surviving a stroke is becoming more likely as more community hospitals join the SAVES network. The program uses a high-speed video communications system to help provide immediate, life-saving treatments to stroke patients 24 hours a day. The real-time video communication enables a stroke neurologist to evaluate whether emergency room physicians should use a powerful blood thinner within the critical three-hour period following the first signs of stroke.
“This is an important part of UAMS’ mission — reaching out to other areas of the state and helping local physicians identify patients with stroke and improve the patients’ outcomes,” said Renee Joiner, AR SAVES director.
The AR SAVES program is a partnership between the UAMS Center for Distance Health, the state Department of Human Services and 48 Arkansas hospitals.
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and two dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.