Your Guide for Knowing Where to Go for the Right Type of Care. Click here

Join Atrium Health Navicent in Observing National Stroke Month

Health System Seeks to Decrease Central Georgians’ Stroke Risk

Atrium Health Navicent invites the community to observe National Stroke Month during May by learning to recognize and react to the signs of stroke.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke. On average, 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Central Georgians are at an increased risk for stroke due to the prevalence of common risk factors that include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and tobacco use. Georgia is in the “Stroke Belt,” an area in the Southeastern United States where stroke deaths are approximately 30 percent higher than the rest of the country. In 2019, Georgia held the 8th highest stroke death rate in the country.

Clinicians at Atrium Health Navicent remind the public to act FAST if they experience any of these signs or symptoms.

· F – Facial weakness (Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?)

· A – Arm or leg weakness (Can the person raise both arms?)

· S – Speech difficulty (Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?)

· T – Time to act (Seek medical attention immediately!)

Atrium Health Navicent is a 10-time recipient of the American Heart Association’s “Get With the Guidelines – Stroke Gold” Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the health system’s commitment to quality care for stroke patients, and success in implementing an exemplary standard of care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines. In addition, Atrium Health Navicent has achieved the American Heart Association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines.

“Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Some risk factors like age and race may be out of your control, but lifestyle changes or medical treatment can lessen other risks such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, obesity and sleep apnea,” said Dr. Matthew Smith, Stroke Medical Director for Atrium Health Navicent. In addition to working to reduce risk, it’s important that everyone is aware of the signs or symptoms of stroke and seek medical attention FAST if they suspect a stroke has occurred.”

To find a doctor, visit and click “Find A Doctor.”

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent, the leading provider of health care in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Providing more than 1,000 beds and offering care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region, Atrium Health Navicent provides care for health care consumers’ through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Atrium Health Navicent is dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit