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The FirstHealth Stroke Center will hold a community stroke event on Thursday, November 7 at the Sunrise Theater located at 250 NW Broad Street in downtown Southern Pines.    

The event will feature the screening of A Teachable Moment, a powerful documentary that details the journey of four stroke survivors.  Told through the eyes of four tenacious strangers, A Teachable Moment examines the signs, occurrences and long, often miraculous, road to recovery that stroke survivors face. 

The documentary also features leading experts and clinicians that shed light on the science of stroke and the preventative steps and lifestyle choices that reduce the risks of suffering from the neurological disorder.

A question and answer session with guest panelist Melanie Blacker, M.D., FirstHealth neurohospitalist and stroke center medical director, will follow the documentary screening. 

Dr. Blacker has served as medical director of the FirstHealth stroke center since January 2017, a role that includes overseeing ways to improve stroke care throughout the FirstHealth hospital system and in the community at large.

The FirstHealth service area is in the “stroke belt” where the incidence of stroke is higher than in other areas of the country.  North Carolina is ranked the 6th highest state for stroke mortality, 23% higher than the US rate.

According to Dr. Blacker, in the past 10 years (2008 to 2018), the number of stroke patients treated at FirstHealth hospitals has increased significantly from 470 to 685 annually.

“FirstHealth is committed to providing outstanding stroke care to patients,” said Dr. Blacker.  “In support of that commitment, we consistently work to raise awareness in the community about ways to prevent, treat and beat strokes.  We are thankful that funds from the Foundation of FirstHealth’s Neuroscience CARE Fund allowed for the financial support of this and other community stroke education and advocacy activities.”

The event will begin at 5 p.m. with light hors d’oeuvres, and the documentary screening and panel discussion will follow at 6 p.m.

The event is free and open to any member of the community.  For more information, or to register to attend, call (910) 695-7512 or email [email protected].



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