Group Heroes – American Stroke Foundation

On behalf of our survivors of stroke and their families, ASF staff and Board of Directors, we graciously accept this group award. This recognition gives us hope and affirmation that by supporting each other we are creating an enhanced quality of life for all of us. – Jane Savidge, American Stroke Foundation Executive Director

Just one week after the COVID-19 pandemic closed the American Stroke Foundation’s “Next Step” program, the staff pivoted to a virtual experience.

And it’s been just as impactful.

Resilient stroke survivors and their care partners have adapted to many abrupt changes — staying engaged by using Zoom, reading daily emails with educational content and participating in therapeutic activities while remaining at home.

The nonprofit organization in Overland, Kansas still offers these services through its “Next Step” program:

  • Stroke education
  • Daily physical and cognitive activities and exercises
  • Daily communication classes
  • Weekly support groups
  • Monthly educational webinars
  • Socialization of “still being together”

The services have continued during the pandemic with support from volunteers and academic programs: the University of Kansas Occupational Therapy Program; Creighton University Occupational Therapy Program; Eastern Michigan University Occupational Therapy Program; South Dakota State University Occupational Therapy Program; Rockhurst University Occupational Therapy Program; Metropolitan Community Colleges; Penn Valley Campus Occupational Therapy Assistant Program; Cleveland University Occupational Therapy Assistant Program; Rockhurst University Speech and Communication Disorders Program; University of Missouri, Kansas City Campus Music Therapy Program; University of Kansas Health Systems; Maggie Rodgers, music therapist at Brookdale Hospice Care; and Don Sears, a retired pastor.