Stroke survivors across the country are contacting their representatives and senators from July 11 to July 22 to urge action on stroke-related legislation championed by U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio.
Among the bills they are supporting are H.R. 2799, the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine, or “FAST” Act and H.R. 4560, the Return to Work Awareness Act. Beatty, a stroke survivor, is an original co-sponsor of the FAST act, and the sponsor of the Return to Work Awareness Act.
The bipartisan FAST Act, introduced in June 2015, has the potential to save thousands of lives by giving those experiencing a stroke better access to lifesaving emergency care. It directs Medicare to cover “telestroke” services, which will allow help patients to connect with specialists within the critical three- to four-hour window when essential treatments will save lives.
Beatty’s bipartisan “Return to Work Awareness” act would give stroke survivors better access to the support and resources they need to return to work after a stroke. The legislation will increase the distribution of information, improve coordination between federal agencies and increase employment outreach efforts among individuals recovering from stroke, heart attack, traumatic brain injury and other health occurrences.
“Both the FAST Act and the Return to Work Awareness Act would vastly improve both survival rates as well as quality of life for patients. Congresswoman Beatty’s strong leadership on these issues has helped legislators understand both the needs of stroke survivors, as well as the role Congress can play to create meaningful, lasting change,” said Robyn Moore, CEO of National Stroke Association. “We urge members of Congress to follow Congresswoman Beatty’s lead and take quick action these critical pieces of legislation.”
In Beatty’s home state of Ohio, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, costing the lives of 5,744 Ohioans in 2012 alone. In addition to the human cost of stroke, stroke cost the state of Ohio $2.7 billion in medical costs and loss of productivity in the workforce.
Stroke is a brain attack that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. Because oxygen is carried in our blood, this condition deprives brain cells of oxygen. The impact on the stroke survivor depends on what part of the brain is deprived of oxygen and for how long. There are 7 million stroke survivors in the U.S., and roughly 795,000 people in the U.S. will have a stroke this year. Nationally, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious long-term disability in the U.S.
About National Stroke Association
National Stroke Association is the only national nonprofit healthcare organization focusing 100 percent of its resources and attention on stroke. Our mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.
Contact: Mitchell Ronningen, Manager, Government Affairs, National Stroke Associaton, 303-754-0907, firstname.lastname@example.org