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The Delaware Valley Stroke Council (DVSC) held its 18th annual Stars for Stroke Gala on March 15th at the Sheraton Society Hill in Philadelphia and raised $150,000 to continue its community advocacy and stroke awareness programs. This black tie affair also honored stroke survivors, caregivers, doctors and those dedicated to reducing the incidence and impact of stroke, which is the third leading cause of death and number one cause of adult disability.


Most notably, the Delaware Valley Stroke Council honored Congressman Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania’s second congressional district with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his career-long dedication to neuroscience research. In 2011, Congressman Fattah commissioned the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative; an innovative, non-incremental policy effort seeking to achieve groundbreaking progress in understanding the human brain and neurological conditions like stroke.


In addition to honoring Congressman Fattah, the Delaware Valley Stroke Council recognized Dr. John Roussis, physician liaison for JeffSTAT Medical Transportation Services with a Volunteer of the Year Award for his unwavering dedication to the DVSC.  Roger and Peggy Myers received a Stroke Survivor and Caregiver of the Year Award for their relentless perseverance against all odds. The Delaware Valley Stroke Council’s own Medical Advisory Board, which consists of a 30 member team and includes many of the area’s finest stroke care physicians, was presented a Special Recognition Award for providing expertise on stroke and the latest healthcare trends.


Founded in 1995 by Toby Mazer, whose late husband, Dr. Howard Mazer, was a stroke survivor of nearly two decades, the DVSC works to provide advocacy for area stroke survivors and raise awareness of stroke symptoms. “Someone dies from a stroke nearly every 3 minutes in the U.S., but sadly, very few people know the symptoms of stroke,” Mazer said. “To help individuals identify stroke, we developed the F.A.S.T. acronym, meaning the face must be observed for a droopy smile, raised arms checked for a downward drift and speech monitored for slurring. If any of these conditions persist, then time is of the essence to call 911 because the person is suffering a stroke.”


Along with raising awareness of stroke symptoms, the DVSC helps individuals access high quality stroke care. “Our mission is to help stroke survivors and caregivers navigate the complex healthcare system so they can fully focus their efforts on recovering,” Mazer said. “Additionally, we partner with hospitals and rehabilitation centers to ensure that state-of-the-art stroke care is available to everyone in the region.”


To volunteer with the Delaware Valley Stroke Council and learn more about additional upcoming events, visit http://www.phillystroke.org/.


Congressman Chaka Fattah, Helene Katz, administrative assistant for Delaware Valley Stroke Council, Cameron Fattah, Renee Chenault-Fattah, Chandler Fattah, Honey Zozofsky, executive director for Delaware Valley Stroke Council. Credit: HughE Dillon.

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 Toby Mazer, founder of the Delaware Valley Stroke Council with Volunteer of the Year recipient John Roussis Credit: HughE Dillon.

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 Dr. Guy Fried presenting Congressman Fattah with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Credit: HughE Dillon.  

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Maria Jabbour and Dr. Pascal Jabb


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No gala in Philadelphia is complte without a Mummers appearance 

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