Arkansas Travelers to Host ‘Strike Out Stroke Night’ May 23

By Ben Boulden

A helicopter will bring Sanjeeva Onteddu, M.D., a UAMS stroke neurologist, to North Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Park to deliver baseballs for the game’s first-pitch ceremony.

Stroke survivors will be recognized on the field, and UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, and one survivor, Timothy Raines of Arkadelphia, will throw the first pitches. Gates will open at 6:10 p.m. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. against the Springfield Cardinals.

Volunteers  will provide stroke education and toss brain-shaped stress toys into the stands. A volunteer selected from the stands will participate in a card game about stroke symptoms and win prizes.

UAMS Medical Center in July became the first and only health care provider in Arkansas to be certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

“Achieving Comprehensive Stroke Center designation places UAMS among the top stroke centers in the country that have the resources and highly skilled health care teams with advanced training to handle the most complex stroke cases,” Patterson said.

Arkansas ranks seventh in the nation in stroke death rates after many years in first place. Surviving a stroke is becoming more likely as more community hospitals join the UAMS  Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support (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 clot-busting blood thinner within the critical three-hour period following the first signs of stroke.

“Events like Strike Out Stroke are 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,” said Renee Joiner, AR SAVES director. “The Travelers have been a steadfast partner over the years in helping us do that.”

The AR SAVES program is a partnership of the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation, the state Department of Human Services and 55 Arkansas hospitals.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.