Cabell Huntington Hospital Recognized for Stroke Education Targeting Kids

Mitzi Beckett teaches a group of children at St. Joseph Elementary about the signs and symptoms of stroke. She is one of only eight recipients of the prestigious RAISE award presented by the National Stroke Association.

The National Stroke Association presented Mitzi Beckett, BSN, SCRN, stroke program coordinator at Cabell Huntington Hospital with the Raising Awareness in Stroke Excellence (RAISE) Award for creativity. She was one of only eight recipients in the United States to receive this prestigious honor.

Beckett, who provides stroke education throughout the region, received the award for the creation of FASTman, a superhero character used to help educate children about stroke.

"In today's households, more and more children are being raised by grandparents and even great grandparents," said Beckett. "It is important for children to recognize when they should call 911. This is also helpful when children are at school, church or anywhere in the community with adults."

FASTman was created to bring fun and excitement to the learning process. He was developed out of the acronym FAST (Face drooping, Arm immobility, Slurred speech and Time to call 911) used to educate what to look for and how to react to an individual suffering from a stroke.

FASTman, a superhero character used to help educate children about stroke.

Beckett also uses hands-on education with children to simulate the signs and symptoms of a stroke such as putting marshmallows in their mouths to help simulate dysarthria—slurred or slowed speech, using weights on their arms to limit or challenge movement in a way that some stroke survivors may face and wearing special glasses to help simulate the loss of vision that survivors could experience.

"We were inspired by the many nominations we received from individuals and groups who work year-round to raise awareness for stroke prevention and recovery," said Robyn Moore, CEO of the National Stroke Association. "Mitzi's contributions to the stroke community stood out among the many nominations we received across the United States and we are proud of her accomplishments on the frontlines of stroke awareness."

The seventh annual RAISE Awards are presented by the only national organization devoted 100 percent to stroke awareness. The RAISE awards honor individuals and groups working on the frontlines of stroke prevention and awareness. The National Stroke Association was founded in 1984 to support stroke rehabilitation and prevention efforts.

For more information about stroke contact the Advanced Primary Stroke Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital at 304.526.6317.