2018 RAISE Award: Outstanding Individual

Kimon Bekelis, MD, New York

Dr. Kimon Bekelis established the first comprehensive stroke center on the south shore of Long Island. He takes stroke calls 24/7 and has provided advanced endovascular treatments to more than 400 patients who otherwise would not have received this care.

He built the first stroke support group at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, developed a neuro intensive care unit and established transfer protocols between four additional hospitals to expedite stroke care.

Dr. Bekelis did all this while also giving lectures to emergency room staff at all Suffolk County hospitals and to first responders. He also educates the public about stroke prevention and symptoms through community outreach initiatives, media interviews and through his work nationally on several committees. He has published over 120 peer reviewed manuscripts in the field.

Dr. Bekelis is also the medical director of the Stroke and Brain Aneurysm Center of Long Island—the first of its kind on the south shore providing treatment options that previously were not available. He moved to Long Island to open the center and fill a void in care after researching areas across the country where there was need. Prior to the opening of the center, stroke patients would have to travel at least an hour away for care. As co-director of the neuro ICU, he ensures that every neuro patient receives the highest quality of care.