Northwest Arkansas Naturals Holds ‘Strike Out Stroke Night’

By Ben Boulden

A helicopter will bring Washington Regional Medical Center neurologist Margaret Tremwel, M.D., to the field at Arvest Park in Springdale to deliver the ball for the first pitch ceremony. Tremwel is one of six stroke neurologists in the state and an integral member of the AR SAVES team. Gates will open at 5 p.m., and the game starts at 6:20 p.m. against the Rockhounds of Midland, Texas.

Volunteers from AR SAVES (Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support) sites around the state will work at stroke education booths, and brain-shaped stress toys will be thrown into the stands.

AR SAVES stroke survivors will be honored guests at the game. Their presence in a reserved seating section will serve as a reminder to others that getting to the hospital quickly can prevent stroke death and disability.

Arkansas ranks first in the nation in stroke death rates. Surviving a stroke is becoming more likely as more community hospitals join the 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 three-hour period following the first signs of stroke. 

“This is an important part of UAMS’ mission — reaching out to other areas of the state and helping local physicians identify patients with stroke and improve the patients’ outcomes,” Manley said. 

The AR SAVES program is a partnership between the UAMS Center for Distance Health, the state Department of Human Services and 47 Arkansas hospitals.