Stroke Awareness Foundation Highlights Outreach into non-English Speaking Communities

The message? Know the signs, and get help fast
Photo Credit: Stroke Awareness Foundation

Stroke Awareness Foundation

Do you know the signs of stroke? The Stroke Awareness Foundation (SAF) wants to make sure you do, no matter what language you speak.

That was the message of the SAF press conference last week. Held to welcome its newest board member, former executive director of the Valley Medical Center Foundation Chris Wilder, who survived a massive stroke himself last year, the event also highlighted the work SAF is doing to bring stroke awareness to Santa Clara County’s non-English speaking communities. “Silicon Valley attracts people from all over the world,” said Fernando Zasueta, prominent attorney, founder of La Raza Historical Society, and SAF ambassador. “They shouldn’t be prevented from seeking treatment just because they don’t speak English.”

Making sure stroke information is available to all is one of SAF’s highest priorities.

Non-English speakers account for half of all strokes in Santa Clara County; many people in non-English-speaking communities aren’t familiar with the signs of stroke and may be reluctant to call 911 or ride in an ambulance. But any delay in treatment can result in a negative outcome.

Indeed, although stroke death rates have declined for decades among all races/ethnicities, Hispanics have seen an increase in death rates since 2013.

That’s why SAF has doubled down on its outreach, offering information on its website in six languages and creating an app that lists the signs of stroke, connects you with specialized stroke treatment centers nearby, and automatically reaches out to your emergency contacts once you call 911. SAF also enlists high-profile ambassadors, like Zasueta and County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, to help convey life-saving information.

“The work that SAF is doing with the app and their outreach is really, really exciting,” says Chavez. “It’s critical to make sure these life-saving measures are deeply ingrained in the community.”

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