Abstract TP418: The Evolution of Four Stroke Support Groups into the City-wide Stroke Connection
Background: In our city, there are three Primary Stroke Centers within a one and a half mile radius. Previously, each of these hospitals, plus the local rehabilitation facility, hosted a monthly stroke support group at their own facility. The stroke coordinators at these facilities reported that the preparation for these meetings is very time consuming and the participation is generally poor.
Purpose: The purpose of this project was to establish a city-wide stroke support group. Our goals were to integrate our efforts while shifting the focus to community reentry and coping with long term issues after stroke.
Methods: The three stroke coordinators, along with a physical therapist from the local rehabilitation center, met to discuss our current state of providing stroke support groups. We realized that, although fiercely competitive, this is one area where collaboration between facilities would be warranted. A committee was formed to create the new group with the plan to go into effect in January 2015. First, we identified a venue that is accessible, with ease of parking, convenient, and without a specific alliance to one facility over another. Secondly, marketing duties were divided up between the four facilities. All marketing pieces include the branding of all four facilities. Every month, there is a newspaper advertisement and marketing through social media. An invitation is created every month which announces the speaker and the topic. Each facility is responsible for mail outs to their own database. Lastly, each committee member chose three months in which they agreed to lead the meetings. The leader for the month is responsible for choosing the topic for the month, inviting a speaker, setting up, and cleaning up.
Results: The four monthly support groups were combined and a new name was given: the City-Wide Stroke Connection. The meeting is free and open to all stroke survivors and caregivers.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the City-Wide Stroke Connection has been effective in increasing participation from an average of five to 25 attendees per month. In addition, the stroke coordinators have reported a decrease in annual work load.
Author Disclosures: W. Barrilleaux: None. D.N. Kiihnl: None. T. Ellerbusch: None. S. Geiger: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.