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I define a stroke champion as one who advocates for stroke awareness and prevention with continuous dedication of employing a holistic approach in stroke management in order to improve the quality of life among stroke patients. There are important elements of a stroke champion that are included in the definition, namely stroke awareness and prevention, holistic approach of stroke management and improving the quality of life among stroke patients. A stroke champion does not only focus on the treatment and management of stroke. The process of care provided among stroke patients should also include preventive measures in order to avoid more serious complications of the condition that can affect the quality of life that they live. Engaging in stroke awareness programs will also help educate the community on how to prevent stroke in their family and how to manage the condition to prevent its complications in order to help unburden the common health care costs involved because of the condition. Stroke patients need a holistic approach of treatment. Most health care providers often neglect the psychological and emotional needs of stroke patients. Patients suffering from stroke often battle against emotional pain, depression and sometimes hopelessness because of their chronic condition. Healthcare providers have the duty to promote the overall health condition of patients by showing compassionate care for them. According to Birkett (2008), stroke patients often suffer from emotional than physical pain. A stroke champion is one who has the ability to recognize these special needs of stroke patients and help them cope with stroke better with a healthier mental perspective of their condition. Consequently, the compassionate, holistic treatment and care given to them can become a life changing event in the quality of life that stroke patients live. This is a good advocacy in stroke management and care that a stroke champion can promote within the healthcare setting, as well as in the community.
Birkett, Peter. The Psychiatry of Stroke. New York: Haworth Press. 2008