Members of the Women Empowered (WE) giving circle from OSF St. Joseph Foundation recently awarded a grant of $10,000 to fund two community stroke education programs for women during National Stroke Month in May of 2016. The OSF Center for Health Lifestyles, Eastern Region Neuroscience leader, and Illinois Neurological Institute will partner to educate local women about stroke, unique risk factors, and stroke symptoms specific to females. These educational sessions are projected to reach 150-200 women.
In 2014, over 55 percent of stroke patients at OSF St. Joseph were female, a significant increase over last year. The American Stroke Association reports 60 percent of the 137,000 individuals who die from stroke each year are women. Additionally, it reports stroke is the third leading cause of death in women. Many women are unaware of the warning signs and stroke symptoms unique to females. A recent study conducted by Ohio State University revealed only 11 percent of women were aware of factors increasing their stroke risk, including pregnancy, lupus, migraines, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy.
WE launched in 2014 to engage local women who are passionate about women’s health to fund and champion women’s services at OSF St. Joseph. Members pool their individual annual gifts to make grants to improve women’s health. Through innovation, inspiration, and the personal investment of their own time and money, WE members are building an initiative for women by women. For more information or to become a member of WE, please contact Jennifer Sedbrook at (309) 665-4901.