North Shore-LIJ’s “Think F.A.S.T.” Stroke Awareness Campaign Educates More Than 32,000 People

MANHASSET, NY – The North Shore-LIJ Health System jumped into Stroke Awareness Month in May by launching a system wide campaign called “Think F.A.S.T.,” designated to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of stroke.  More than 32,000 people took part in stroke awareness events hosted throughout the health system.

“We are extremely proud of our North Shore-LIJ stroke coordinators who educated more than 32,000 people in the community about the warning signs of stroke,” said Richard Libman, MD, chair of North Shore-LIJ’s stroke task force and chief of vascular neurology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. “The more we can educate the public, the more lives can be saved.  The sooner a patient with stroke-like symptoms is brought to the nearest stroke-designated hospital, the better chance of a good clinical outcome.”

Stroke coordinators at various North Shore-LIJ hospitals hosted stroke awareness events throughout the month, educating the public on how to recognize stroke symptoms; risk factors; prevention; nutrition; heart health; and diabetes. 

“For every person we talked to about ‘Think F.A.S.T.,’ they are now educated enough to know the importance of calling 911 immediately should they or their loved ones show any symptoms of stroke,” said Michele L. Gribko, MS, RN  , stroke coordinator at North Shore University Hospital.
 “We will continue to educate the public through other community-based programs at retirement homes, stroke support groups, health fairs, community outreach programs and continued stroke education to emergency medical technicians and stroke rehabilitation facilities.”

“F.A.S.T” is an easy way for people to remember how to determine if someone may be having a stroke and what to do to help:

Face Drooping:  When one side of the face droops or is numb.  Ask the person to smile.

Arm Weakness: When one arm is weak or numb.  Ask the person to raise both arms.  Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty:  When the speech is slurred or when person is unable to speak or difficult to understand.  Ask the person to repeat a sentence.  Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 and get them to a hospital immediately.

“The North Shore-LIJ Rehabilitation Network was delighted to partner with North Shore-LIJ’s stroke task force in this important endeavor,” said Adam B. Stein, MD,  chair of North Shore-LIJ’s department of physical rehabilitation and medicine.  “For stroke patients, rehabilitation is a critical part of recovery, helping them achieve the best possible long-term outcome. Our stroke rehabilitation program includes inpatient, home-based and outpatient components, helping patients return to independent living and better quality of life.   Continuing to educate stroke rehabilitation patients is vitally important as it will reinforce their knowledge of the warning signs should they ever have a recurrent stroke.”

For more information about stroke prevention and treatment, visit or call 516-562-3822.

 For more information about the North Shore-LIJ Rehabilitation Network, visit  or call 1-888-Rehab-03.




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