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Stroke Support Group Forms in Johnson County

Johnson County Treasurer Barbara Robinson, shown with her office staff Claudia Gaarz and Roy Giddens, initiated Stroke Hopes, a stroke support organization in Johnson County.

Barbara Robinson, the Johnson County treasurer and a stroke survivor, and Huguley Home Health have formed Stroke Hopes, a support group in Johnson County for stroke survivors, their families and caregivers.

The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25 at 4 p.m. in the Santa Fe Room of First Financial Bank, 403 North Main Street in Cleburne.  The meetings, which are free and open to the public, will be on the last Tuesday of each month.

"After I had my stroke in July of 2009, I attended a stroke support group in downtown Fort Worth.  The information and support were invaluable, but driving an hour each way used a lot of time and energy.  I couldn't find a stroke support group closer to home, so I approached Lisa at Huguley Home Health to help me form one," said Ms. Robinson, who lives in Cleburne.

Huguley Home Health, the sponsoring agency of Stroke Hopes, will plan programs, arrange publicity, develop a website and help with other organizational tasks. 

"Our nurses and therapists visit almost a hundred stroke patients in our community each year, so we will arrange speakers to share information about local resources, health updates and recovery suggestions.  We can also facilitate connections between those who have recently suffered a stroke and those farther along in the recovery process," said Lisa Ortner, community development coordinator for Huguley Home Health.

"One of our most important functions is to provide a place where stroke survivors and their families can encourage and support one another.  Recovery is a long process, and set-backs are normal, so we can help sustain each other," said Ms. Robinson, who has served as the Johnson County treasurer for 16 years.  She will begin her fifth term as treasurer in January.

"Huguley Home Health agency is pleased to schedule the first meeting of Stroke Hopes during National Stroke Awareness Month.   Besides informing and supporting survivors and their caregivers, Stroke Hopes also plans to reach into the community with health education on stroke prevention," said Ms. Ortner.

Approximately four million strokes occur in the United States each year, and strokes are the leading cause of serious, long-term disability.  Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer.

For more information, call toll free 1-877-426-2751 or visit online at www.strokehopes.org.