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RAISE Awards

The Raising Awareness in Stroke Excellence (RAISE) Awards annually recognize individuals and groups from across the country for taking stroke awareness activities to new heights. Awards are given in several categories and recognize people engaged in community-level awareness activities directly supporting the National Stroke Association’s mission.

The seventh annual RAISE Award winners were announced on Oct. 27, 2017. Eight award winners were named, representing individuals and groups chosen from over 250 nominations. Watch and share the video of this year's winners.


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Most Creative:

Honors an individual or group using creativity and originality to spread the word about stroke.

Most Impactful:

Honors an individual or group awareness activity that demonstrates proven improved patient or community outcomes.

Outstanding Individual:

Honors an individual making a commitment to raising stroke awareness on a local or national level.

Outstanding Group:

Honors a group of people making a commitment to raising stroke awareness on a local or national level.

Outstanding Fundraising Effort:

Honors an individual or group making a unique and impactful effort to raise stroke awareness and funds for the National Stroke Association.

Outstanding Stroke Survivor:

Honors an individual who has survived a stroke and used their experience to educate, inspire, and bring awareness to stroke on a local or national level.

Outstanding Support Group:

Honors a stroke support group for making an innovative and robust impact on the lives of stroke survivors, caregivers and others impacted by stroke through connection, empowerment, and education.

Voter's Choice:

This award honors an individual or group representing the best effort in raising stroke awareness. The nominees for this category are selected by our judges and the winner will be chosen in October through online voting.

Awards Timeline

The 2017 RAISE Awards cycle includes:

Nomination Period: July 10, 2017 through August 31, 2017

Judging: September 2017

Voter's Choice: October 11 – 25, 2017

Winners Announced: October 27, 2017

Meet the 2017 winners

Most Creative

Mitzi Beckett, BSN, RN, SCRN


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Most Impactful

Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery


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Outstanding Fundraising Effort

Trista McClarnon


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Outstanding Group

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Stroke Team


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Most Impactful Outstanding Individual

Howard Yonas, MD


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Outstanding Stroke Survivor

Bob Newbold


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Outstanding Support Group

The Backstrokes Community Music Group


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Voter’s Choice

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Center for Distance Health, AR SAVES


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Get inspired by past winners

Where are they now?

Joe Romanesco – Most Impactful Community Fundraising Event, 2012

Since receiving his RAISE award in 2012, Joe Romanesco is busier than ever! He volunteers as a peer mentor for patients, runs a stroke support group, and volunteers as a care minister for his local church. Joe had a bike made for him so that he can bike with one hand. In 2014, he was able to use equipment that made it possible for him to downhill ski for the first time since his stroke!

Aphasia Lunch Bunch – Outstanding Support Group, 2012

In order to grow as a group and to have a bigger reach, the group partnered up with the City of Henderson, Nev. to hold even more community groups and events to raise awareness for aphasia. Their new activities include evening bonfires and antique shows. In the future they are planning to add more interactive activities, such as outdoor walks and bingo.

Tom Watson – Outstanding Individual, 2011

A large part of Tom Watson’s emotional healing came in creating and sharing his art. He continues to create art as well as a T-shirt line inspired by his stroke experience. Tom uses his exhibitions and receptions as an opportunity to educate people about stroke, including the fact that it can happen to anyone at any age. Since his award, Tom was invited to a Stroke Forum held for health care professionals to speak and show his art.

View 2011 winners View 2012 winners View 2013 winners View 2014 winners View 2015 winners


By participating in the National Stroke Association’s RAISE Awards, you unconditionally and irrevocably assign all copyrights and other rights in the submission to the National Stroke Association. The RAISE Awards program is open to U.S. residents only.

You acknowledge that the National Stroke Association, at its sole discretion, has the right to use any photograph, video, or story submitted by you to print, publish, broadcast, and use in any manner the National Stroke Association deems appropriate worldwide, in any media now known or hereafter developed, including, without limitation, television, books, newspapers, and magazines, the Internet and advertising, promotion, the use of trade and/or other commercial purposes. By submitting a photograph, video and/or story, you (and any other individual depicted in a photograph, video or story) consent to such publication or any other use.

2017 RAISE Awards Sponsors 

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