Stroke Smart Magazine
CHAMPION OF HOPE
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The Hip Hop DocBy Jeannie Price
Educating Kids About Stroke
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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