Stroke Heroes Act FAST
Stroke Heroes Act FAST is a public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

 campaign produced by the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Control Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is a governmental agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with various responsibilities related to public health within that state...

. Begun in 2006, it is dedicated to increasing stroke recognition and shortening the time between the onset of stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

 symptoms and arrival at a hospital’s emergency department
Emergency department
An emergency department , also known as accident & emergency , emergency room , emergency ward , or casualty department is a medical treatment facility specialising in acute care of patients who present without prior appointment, either by their own means or by ambulance...


"Time lost is brain lost" is a phrase often used in stroke prevention programs. Because quick treatment can help avoid death or permanent physical disability
Physical disability
A physical disability is any impairment which limits the physical function of one or more limbs or fine or gross motor ability. Other physical disabilities include impairments which limit other facets of daily living, such as respiratory disorders and epilepsy....

, the FAST campaign stresses the need for immediate action by calling 9-1-1.

FAST teaches the signs and symptoms of stroke through its acronym, which stands for: Face, Arm, Speech, and Time. The highlight of the campaign is an award-winning, 3-minute animated video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

 produced by Geovision. Accompanying the video are poster
A poster is any piece of printed paper designed to be attached to a wall or vertical surface. Typically posters include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster may be either wholly graphical or wholly text. Posters are designed to be both eye-catching and informative. Posters may be...

s, brochure
A brochure is a type of leaflet. Brochures are most commonly found at places that tourists frequently visit, such as museums, major shops, and tourist information. Brochure racks or stands may suggest visits to amusement parks and other points of interest...

s, wallet-sized cards, and Powerpoints. All of the items are available in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, and Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 (with Khmer
Khmer language
Khmer , or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language , with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious...

 on the way). The PowerPoints are part of an education kit that is meant as a train-the-trainer module, and is also available in the three languages.

A paid media campaign has accompanied the distribution of materials, and has included television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

, radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

, print media, and transit cards on public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

ation. To date, FAST materials have been used in 48 states and 28 countries, including Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, and the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...


Evaluation of Campaign

The Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Control Program has evaluated each of the media campaigns to demonstrate knowledge and awareness
Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of...

 change concerning stroke signs and symptoms. Prior to running the initial media campaign in a specific language and after each subsequent campaign, a survey
Statistical survey
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

 was administered to a random sample of Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 adults. The validated survey questionnaire addresses stroke signs and symptoms knowledge, impetus to call 9-1-1 at any sign of a stroke, awareness of stroke advertising, as well as familiarity with the campaign and its terminology
Terminology is the study of terms and their use. Terms are words and compound words that in specific contexts are given specific meanings, meanings that may deviate from the meaning the same words have in other contexts and in everyday language. The discipline Terminology studies among other...

. These data have shown a significant increase in awareness and knowledge over time, confirming the effectiveness of the campaigns in Massachusetts.


The campaign video won the Silver Award for production at the 27th annual Telly Awards, which recognizes the "finest video and film productions". In 2008, two Gabriel Award
Gabriel Award
The Gabriel Awards were originated by the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals in 1965. They were designed to honor works of broadcast excellence that have a positive and creative treatment of concerns to mankind....

s were given for "Community Awareness/PSA" for the Spanish language version of the video. It has also been honoured with the 2009 Media Partnership Award from the Partnership for a Heart-Healthy Stroke-Free Massachusetts (PHHSFM) organization for the campaign's leadership
Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Other in-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged.-Theories:...

in using the video to increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke.

External links

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