Dr. Peter PanagosTime is of the essence when dealing with a heart attack or a stroke. Take some time out of your winter schedule for Alton Memorial Hospital’s 15th annual Heart-Stroke Fair on Saturday, Feb. 23. The fair is from 9 a.m. to noon in the Beeby Wing and connector lobbies near the AMH cafeteria. Call 800-392-0936 to register for this free event.

Formerly known as just the Heart Fair, the new name reflects Alton Memorial’s recent designation by The Joint Commission as the first primary stroke center in the Metro East. The high-performance credential could result in new paramedic protocols to divert some stroke patients from other hospitals. Legislation is in process that will require stroke patients to be transported to the nearest certified stroke center, and Alton Memorial is the only such hospital in the Metro East.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. When it’s a stroke, delays in treatment can lead to loss of brain function, or worse. The sooner that tPA -- a clot-busting drug -- is administered, the greater the chance symptoms of stroke --such as paralysis and speech problems -- can be significantly reduced.

The speaker at the Heart-Stroke Fair will be Dr. Peter Panagos, an associate professor of Emergency Medicine and Neurology at Washington University in St Louis. Dr. Panagos will discuss “What to Expect When You’re Having a Stroke” at 10 a.m. in the cafeteria meeting rooms. Dr. Panagos’ primary research and clinical interest is acute stroke management.

The fair is designed to help area residents assess their heart health and learn about prevention and treatment of heart disease, the top health problem in the United States. Alton Memorial Hospital heart experts will be on hand to address the impact of exercise, smoking, diabetes, sleep disorders, nutrition, medications and stress on the heart. A variety of informational booths will provide details on such topics as heart attack, congestive heart failure, emergency care, angioplasty, peripheral artery disease, depression, stress management, diet and nutrition. The AMH Heart & Vascular Center as well as the AMH Stroke Center will have featured tables in the fair.

The Heart-Stroke Fair will again offer a variety of free health screenings, including cholesterol (fasting is required), blood pressure and breast screenings. The cholesterol-blood pressure screening package is separate from the breast screenings. The breast screenings are aimed at women without insurance, who are having breast health concerns or haven't had a breast exam in over a year. Both screening packages are free and require an appointment by calling 1-800-392-0936. Visitors can register for the screening packages when they call to register for the fair itself.

 Free boxed lunches from Subway will be served beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the cafeteria. You must register in advance for the fair to assure yourself a free meal. Everyone who pre-registers will get a green lunch ticket at the registration table and will be served first. Walk-ins will be served only if there are enough meals left.

Visitors should enter the fair via the hospital’s Duncan Wing entrance and proceed down the corridor toward the Beeby Wing, where the registration table will be located.


Alton Memorial Hospital
Heart-Stroke Fair
Saturday, Feb. 23
9 a.m.-noon
Call 800-392-0936 to register

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