To help Arkansans learn how to survive stroke, the Newport High School football team is making its September 27 game “Tackle Stroke Night” in partnership with the Harris Hospital and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) statewide stroke program, AR SAVES.

An Air-Evac helicopter will deliver the game ball to the high school football field at 6:40, presenting it to Robert Rupp, CEO of Harris Hospital. Two stroke survivors who were helped through the AR SAVES program at Harris Hospital will be recognized. They will be announced as honored guests of the game as a reminder to others that getting to the hospital quickly can prevent stroke death and disability. Kickoff is at 7:00 against Dollarway, but plan on coming early for these pre-game events. Representatives from AR SAVES (Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support) and Harris Hospital will be on hand at stroke education tables at the admission gates providing giveaways and information. NHS cheerleaders will toss brain-shaped stress balls into the stands to support awareness of stroke, and 100 t-shirts provided by White River EMS will be randomly given away. Arkansas ranks first in the nation in stroke death rates. Surviving a stroke is becoming more likely as more community hospitals join the AR SAVES network. The program uses a high-speed video communications system to help provide immediate, life-saving treatments to stroke patients 24 hours a day. The real-time video communication enables a stroke neurologist to evaluate whether emergency room physicians should use a powerful blood thinner within the critical 4.5-hour period following the first signs of stroke. “This is an important component of Harris Hospital’s mission. By partnering with UAMS in the AR SAVES telemedicine program, local residents have immediate access to neurologists. This program helps our local emergency room physicians quickly identify patients with stroke and improve the patients’ outcomes. We always want to be a resource to help residents maintain maximum wellness, and community education for stroke prevention is one way to maintain health in Jackson County,” said Rebecca Pearrow, Marketing Director for Harris Hospital.