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Leaders from Bassett Healthcare Network and the American Heart Association in the Mohawk Valley recently gathered at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown to unveil an acronym that could save lives.

Four life-sized letters that spell out “F.A.S.T.” will be displayed in the outpatient clinic lobby of Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, and two sets of pull-up banners that say the same thing will travel among other Bassett locations across the region, all to raise awareness about stroke.

Bassett leaders with Christine Kisiel from American Heart Association of the Greater Utica Area standing in front of life-sized FAST letters

"We are proud to partner with the American Heart Association to help our communities recognize the symptoms of stroke," said Jo-Ann Vass, Bassett's Stroke Program Coordinator. "This is essential information to help prevent strokes and get timely care."

“We know with stroke that time is brain,” said Christine Kisiel, executive director of the American Heart Association in the Mohawk Valley. “The acronym F.A.S.T. is something that is easy to remember, and if someone is having a stroke, to remember. We’re grateful that Bassett is sponsoring America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk and is raising awareness about this important tool to fight stroke.” 

F.A.S.T. stands for: 

F – face drooping
A – arm weakening
S – slurred speech
T – time to call 9-1-1

In January, Bassett Medical Center announced that it earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Primary Stroke Center Certification. Primary Stroke Center Certification recognizes hospitals that meet exacting standards to support critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients.

For additional stroke resources, visit stroke.org.

Dr. Ibrahim & Christine Kisiel standing in front of life-sized FAST letters