2015 RAISE Awards

The fifth annual RAISE Award winners were announced on Oct. 26, 2015. Seven award winners were named representing individuals and groups chosen from over 400 nominations. Watch and share this video of this year’s winners.

2015 WINNERS: Most Creative | Most Impactful | Outstanding Group | Outstanding Individual | Most Impactful Community Fundraising Event | Outstanding Support Group | Voter’s Choice

2015 RAISE Award – Most Creative

Aphasia Tones™ Choir

Formed in 2009, the California State University East Bay Aphasia Tones Choir is one of the first choirs formed that is comprised of individuals with aphasia. Created with the vision to provide individuals with aphasia the opportunity to be part of a community music choir, the choir is directed by Speech Pathology graduate students. Over the past six years, the choir comprised of 25 members, performed three to six concerts a year to audiences ranging from 25 to over 250 people. Each concert allows the members to be ambassadors in raising awareness of aphasia. The choir members partner with Speech Pathology graduate students in providing educational materials about stroke prevention and aphasia at their concerts.

Aphasia Tones Choir photo collage

California State University East Bay Aphasia Tones choir sings a special version of This Land is Your Land with aphasia awareness- themed verses.


2015 RAISE Award – Most Impactful

Montana Stroke Initiative

The Montana Stroke Initiative is a statewide group coordinated by the Montana Cardiovascular Stroke Initiative. The initiative recruited neurologists from Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado to provide 24/7 call coverage to evaluate, in real time, acute stroke patients in areas that do not have neurology coverage. The group has provided almost 100 consultations. In addition, the group has developed web-based educational content that any facility or provider may use free of charge. The initiative presents nine awards for recognition to community-based groups/individuals that take part in stroke awareness media campaigns.

2015 RAISE Award – Outstanding Group

Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital

The Southern Indiana Hospital recently hosted their 20th Annual Adventure Day Camp this last summer. The camp is designed to provide a get-a-way weekend for stroke survivors and a respite weekend for caregivers. The camp is a two-night, three-day camp fully staffed with healthcare professionals. The campers participate in hayrides, canoeing, fishing, arts and crafts, fun dinners, and more. The camp would not be possible without the Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital team and generous donations from local businesses. The Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital hosts yearly events to raise money for this camp and other awareness activities.

2015 RAISE Award – Outstanding Individual

Amanda Anderson

Amanda Anderson is a speech therapist who experienced a carotid artery dissection that left her with health issues like chronic pain, sensitivity to sound/light, and exhaustion. Despite her health issues, Amanda helps stroke survivors with aphasia and guides them along the process of recovery. Amanda provides free therapy for stroke survivors and has created the Speech Therapy Aphasia Rehabilitation (STAR) Workbook to help people with aphasia continue to make progress after insurance benefits have been exhausted. In addition to that, Amanda is co-author of Aphasia Recovery Connection’s Guide to Living with Aphasia.

2015 RAISE Award – Most Impactful Community Fundraising Event

Kristi Wright

Kristi and her sister, Jaime, lost their mother, Alicia, to a stroke. Alicia was a very active person, so in her memory Kristi planned a 5K race to raise funds for National Stroke Association. Reaching out to vendors and small businesses for sponsorships, Kristi was able to raise around $3,500. She used the race as a way to educate the community on risk factors for stroke by handing out pamphlets and cards to those in attendance. The local hospital participated in the 5K and provided basic health screenings, blood pressure, oxygen level, and diet checks for no charge.

Kristi Wright photo collage

2015 RAISE Award – Outstanding Support Group

Neuro Specialty Rehab’s Stroke Recovery Support Group

This monthly group is led by an innovative team, comprised of a social worker and a stroke nurse. The goal of the leaders is to empower each patient with knowledge and tools, and get them to live their best life. Group leaders not only make connections with the patient, but with their caregivers and become a part of the patient’s story while letting the patient keep the role of the star character. Patients who are new to the group or that have been coming for years, all benefit from the great caring, support and information that is provided by the group.

2015 RAISE Award – Voter’s Choice

Marywood University Aphasia Support Group

The Marywood University Aphasia Support Group held a fundraiser to benefit National Stroke Association and raised $350. For this event, graduate and middle school students assisted in developing and preparing fliers and brochures to pass out educating customers and raising awareness about aphasia, strokes, and effective communication with stroke survivors. The event allowed for members and customers to spend time together and share their personal stories of triumph.

Marywood University Aphasia Support Group ice cream fundraisier

2015 WINNERS: Most Creative | Most Impactful | Outstanding Group | Outstanding Individual | Most Impactful Community Fundraising Event | Outstanding Support Group | Voter’s Choice