Senator Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, recently introduced SR 160, recognizing the week of March 13 – 19, 2023 as Brain Awareness Week in the state of Georgia.
Since it first launched in 1996, Brain Awareness Week has generated global public awareness and education about brain science and research into preventions, cures and treatments for brain diseases and disorders, including stroke, to ensure better patient outcomes and quality of life. Held annually during the third week of March, it’s a time to recognize and reflect on medical breakthroughs that are dramatically improving brain health and even saving lives.
“Brain Awareness Week serves to raise awareness with Georgia residents around research and advancements into treatments and preventions in brain disorders,” said Senator Hufstetler. “These brain disorders include strokes, which is a leading cause of death and disability in our state. Brain Awareness Week recognizes the advancements in medicine which have helped save lives and prevent long-term disability.”
Located within America’s “Stroke Belt,” Georgia had the 8th highest stroke death rate in the nation in 2019. According to a 2020 report prepared by the Georgia Department of Public Health, more than 22,000 Georgians were hospitalized due to stroke in 2019, with 19% of the strokes occurring in patients younger than 65. Stroke hospitalizations cost the state $1.6 billion in 2019.
“I commend Senator Hufstetler and his colleagues in the Georgia State Senate for recognizing Brain Awareness Week,” said Dr. Jonathan Grossberg, an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine. “As a physician who treats patients affected by stroke, I can attest to the importance of awareness around illnesses that impact the brain along with treatment options available. Thanks to advancements in modern medicine, we can save lives and prevent long-term disability, provided patients and/or their loved ones recognize the symptoms of a stroke – loss of speech, face drooping and arm or leg weakness – and dial 9-1-1 immediately to help ensure timely access to care.”
Brain Awareness Week precedes Stroke Awareness Month in May. Along with educating people about recognizing the symptoms of stroke and seeking immediate medical attention, efforts this year will also focus on the need to improve emergency triage and transport protocols – ensuring timely access to lifesaving care for stroke patients.