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The American Heart Association is pleased to announce that Alvarado Hospital is San Diego’s first ever Stroke Champion sponsor. The collaboration is aimed at reducing death and disability from strokethe nation’s third leading killer and one of the leading causes of disability.

“The American Heart Association is excited about building on an already strong relationship with Alvarado Hospital to fund life-saving research and reach even more San Diegans with our life-saving message,” said Dr. James Dunford, American Heart Association volunteer and president of the San Diego Division.

"Alvarado Hospital has become an elite center for acute stroke and stroke rehabilitation care, and is an emerging stroke leader in San Diego," said Dr. Patrick Delaney, stroke program director at Alvarado Hospital. "We think this collaboration with the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association is a perfect fit."

A kick-off event at Alvarado Hospital is scheduled for May 27 when City Councilwoman Marti Emerald will proclaim May 25 as Stroke Awareness Day in the city of San Diego.

“It’s important for everyone to know stroke warning signs and the importance of calling 911,” said Dr. Kevin Kelly, director of the Alvarado Hospital ER. “Calling 911 gets you to the hospital fast and allows the paramedics to communicate with the hospital so we are prepared for your arrival.”

The earlier the treatment begins, the greater the chances of recovering from stroke. The clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) is the gold standard treatment for stroke; however, most patients aren’t eligible to receive it because they don’t get to the hospital in time. People experiencing these symptoms have only three hours to get to a hospital to be assessed as a candidate for a clot-busting drug that may help reduce the harm from the stroke.

During a stroke, a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain bursts or is blocked by a blood clot. Nerve cells in the affected area of the brain can be damaged within minutes and can die within hours.

“We also want to increase awareness of risk factors that contribute to stroke,” said Dr. Delaney. “While some risk factors can’t be changed, stroke is not inevitable just because you have an uncontrollable risk factor. It simply means you need to pay special attention to risk factors that can be eliminated or controlled.”


The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization fighting heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in local communities throughout America. These diseases devastate millions of people of all ages and claim nearly 950,000 lives a year.

The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association that focuses on reducing risk, disability and death from stroke through research, education, fund raising and advocacy. The American Heart Association created the American Stroke Association after many years of increasing emphasis on stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds. Someone dies of a stroke every 3 minutes.