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Walter Gretzky and Dr. Tim Bard speaking about stroke prevention at the Greens at Renton

SIMCOE, ON, APRIL 9, 2009- On April 20 2009, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is launching its new stroke prevention program, Step up to a Healthier you, with a Stroke Awareness Evening at the Greens at Renton, located at 969 Concession 14.

“I encourage anyone interested in attending the event to register by contacting me at the health unit” says Anna Glowala, the Health Unit’s Health Promoter for Stroke Prevention. “That evening doors will open at 6:30 p.m. providing the public with an opportunity to visit various health displays whose information will focus on the risk factors for stroke.” Those risk factors include tobacco use, being overweight, diabetes, physical inactivity, excessive use of alcohol, stress, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

“Admission is free, there will be prizes, refreshments and two special guest speakers,” comments Glowala. “I am very excited to have Walter Gretzky, a stroke survivor, and Dr. Tim Bard, internist and physician for the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic at Norfolk General Hospital, speaking at this event. They both have a very unique perspective on stroke prevention. Mr. Gretzky knows first hand how quickly a stroke can happen and how difficult reversing its effects can be and Dr. Bard works with stroke survivors helping them prevent another stroke in their future.”

Walter Gretzky is very knowledgeable on stroke prevention and adamantly speaks about the importance of knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke, but he is the first to admit that, “before I had my stroke in ’91 I had no clue what the signs and symptoms were or the risk factors, let alone knowing what an actual stroke can do to you. I never thought in a million years that something like this could happen to me, but it did and it has taken a long time and a lot of hard work for me to get to where I am right now.”

For anyone who has experienced a stroke or whose family member has had one, they know first hand that “the consequences can be devastating and life changing”, says Dr. Bard. “Once a stroke has occurred, there is little opportunity to reduce the severity and many people require months or longer to recover. Most people may not realize that they are at risk of stroke or that there is something they can do about it. The Step up to a Healthier you program teaches people what they can do to prevent a stroke for themselves or their loved ones. The best way to treat a stroke is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.” emphasizes Dr. Bard.

“For anyone considering joining the month long educational series in May or October, registration will be available at the event”, says Glowala. During the month of May classes will be held in Simcoe and Dunnville and in October they will be running in Delhi and Caledonia. Glowala emphasizes that, “by participating in the educational series, registrants will not only be making healthy lifestyle changes, they will also be reducing their chances of stroke and chronic disease.

Media Contact:
Anna Glowala, Health Promoter for Stroke Prevention, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 Ext. 3257 or 905-328-6623 Ext. 3257 or [email protected]