Thursday, October 29, 2020

UTICA – The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) has joined forces with Crouse Health, Samaritan Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Health and Upstate University Hospital to raise awareness about the signs of stroke and when to seek help in recognition of World Stroke Day, today, October, 29, 2020.

The five hospitals—all members of the CNY Regional Stroke Advisory Council—have collaborated in the creation of two public service messages highlighting the FAST message. FAST stands for: Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to call 911.

In addition to recognizing the signs of stroke in yourself or a loved one, the CNY Regional Stroke Advisory Council encourages individuals to seek appropriate hospital-level care when appropriate.

“Although typically considered a lung infection, COVID-19 has the tendency to form blood clots which can lead to severe strokes,” said Varun Reddy, MBBS, MVHS Stroke and Neuro Endovascular Service Line Director. “The addition of this complication from the COVID-19 pandemic makes it vital for the community to remain vigilant for the signs and symptoms of stroke and seek treatment as quickly as possible – when it comes to stroke, time is brain. And, MVHS is taking every measure possible to ensure the safety of those needing care – from restricting visitors and instituting blitz cleaning throughout the facility, to screening, taking temperatures and providing masks to all those entering our buildings.”

The CNY Regional Stroke Advisory Council, formed in 2017, was designed to provide these key healthcare institutions a way to share information on stroke care, best practices and national guidelines. The council encourages the exchange of ideas, allowing for critical consultations on stroke treatment protocols for patients requiring care throughout the region. The council includes experts in EMS, emergency medicine, nursing, stroke coordination and stroke medicine. The Central, North Country and Eastern regions are all represented.

For access to the 30- and 60-second spots, visit

For details on FAST, visit

Media Contact: 
Scott Gwilt
Manager/Media Specialist