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Stroke Smart Magazine


September/October 2008
CHAMPION OF HOPE

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The Hip Hop Doc
Educating Kids About Stroke

By Jeannie Price

During his medical training in 2002, Olajide Williams, M.D., observed that 50 percent of the neurology admissions at Harlem Hospital were caused by strokes. Now, as Associate  Director of the Department of Neurology of the Columbia University Affiliation at Harlem Hospital, he is doing something about it.


To increase knowledge of stroke prevention and symptoms in his community, Williams  partnered with National Stroke Association. Since 2006, Williams has helped deliver, grow and develop National Stroke Association’s Hip Hop Stroke™. This interactive and innovative youth education program has proven to be an effective tool in the fight against stroke. With songs, skits, visual aids, and dancing, more than 3,000 Harlem students have learned about stroke.


“I saw light bulbs going off in the kids’ minds enthusiasm that was so tangible you could cut through it with a knife,” says Williams of his experience. A pilot study confirmed what   Williams saw. Seven months after participating in the Hip Hop Stroke™ program, children were retaining 80 percent of the message points.


And that’s not all. Before Williams began presenting Hip Hop Stroke™ in the Harlem community, less than 10 percent of stroke patients were arriving within the three-hour window required for treatment with clot busters. Today this number exceeds 33 percent.


Williams is a true stroke champion in his community.


For more information on Hip Hop Stroke™, contact National Stroke Association at (800) 787-6537.





  

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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.

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