Henry Winkler was among the honorees at a National Stroke Association event last week.

National Stroke Association's 2011 RAISE Awards Winners.
National Stroke Association's 2011 RAISE Awards Winners.

National Stroke Association’s 2011 RAISE Awards Winners. From left: Pat Duthie (Most Creative), Mary Kay VanDriel (Most Creative), Tom Watson (Outstanding Individual), Henry Winkler (Media Spokesperson), Brandi Nester (Outstanding Group), Marie Johnstad (Most Impactful), Debra Walters (Outstanding Group).

The National Stroke Association honored winners in five categories at the inaugural Raising Awareness In Stroke Excellence (RAISE) Awards on Friday, October 28, 2011. The event took place at the Museum of Nature and Science in Denver, CO. This national award program recognizes individuals and groups in multiple categories for taking stroke awareness activities to new heights.

2011 winners include Henry Winkler (Media Spokesperson; “Open Arms: Raising Awareness of Upper Limb Spasticity”); Susan Lucci (Media Spokesperson; “Facing AFib, Get Serious About Stroke”); University of Mississippi Health Care Multidisciplinary Stroke Team (Outstanding Group); Value Health Partners (Most Creative); Tom Watson (Outstanding Individual); The Aphasia Literacy Group (Most Impactful).

“There is no doubt that raising stroke awareness is one of the most important ways to make an impact on stroke no matter the reach or type of effort being made. By supporting the many stroke champions already raising awareness across the country in unique and effective ways, the RAISE Awards helps to establish a devoted and organized community engaged in stroke awareness for the long term,” said Jim Baranski, CEO of National Stroke Association.

“Many people in the United States are unable to identify stroke risk factors or stroke warning signs. This is alarming because stroke is already a leading cause of death and we know incidence will likely rise,” said Baranski. “The boomers are aging and a recent study shows increased incidence among children and young adults. It’s possible that by adopting better lifestyle habits and educating about warning signs, we could impact so many.”

Henry Winkler, legendary “Happy Days” star and RAISE Award Winner in the Media Spokesperson category, was on hand to share his personal story about his mother’s struggle with upper limb spasticity, as well as present and receive awards. Former CBS Weatherman and stroke survivor, Mark McEwen, emceed the event.

“We want to help these individuals and groups stay motivated about raising awareness all year long,” said Baranski. “Their efforts deserve to be known so others can be inspired to do the same.”

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