Kathy Beazley
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Minutes count when someone is having a stroke, and many strokes are preventable.

Those are key takeaways for National Stroke Awareness Month, according to Jyutika Mehta, PhD,  director of the Texas Woman’s University Stroke Center-Dallas, located at the T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences in the Southwestern Medical District.

“Stroke can happen to anyone, but it’s not always inevitable,” Mehta said. “There are steps you can take to reduce your risk.”

One important step is to talk to your doctor about your risk for stroke, Mehta noted. “Family history and lifestyle are factors in stroke risk,” she said. “If you’re at higher risk, your doctor can help you identify the factors you can control or influence — such as physical activity, smoking, weight, diabetes and high blood pressure management, and stress management — and offer advice, resources or interventions to help you significantly reduce your risk.”

Mehta also stressed the importance of seeking immediate medical attention when stroke is suspected.

“Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and long-term disability in the U.S., which means that everyone should familiarize themselves with the symptoms of stroke,” she said. “When a stroke happens, getting help quickly can greatly increase a person’s chances of recovering from a stroke. In some cases, a quick response can literally save someone’s life.”

Established in 1992, the Stroke Center-Dallas is a specialized facility providing internationally-recognized research and state-of-the-art outpatient rehabilitation of stroke and traumatic brain injury, as well as hands-on training for TWU graduate students.

Patients who qualify for the program receive intensive, customized treatment plans designed to improve speech, language, cognition and motor outcomes, at no cost to the patient. The Stroke Center also provides treatment options for oral and pharyngeal dysphagia (swallowing and feeding dysfunction).

“Stroke is a dangerous and deadly disease, but there is hope for stroke survivors,” Mehta said. “Research happening at Stroke Center-Dallas and at facilities around the world are leading to continually improving, advanced rehabilitation treatment protocols and technology that are helping healthcare providers help their patients achieve positive, sometimes life-changing outcomes.”


Symptoms of stroke include numbness, confusion, trouble walking or seeing, dizziness, and severe headache. Since these symptoms can be caused by many conditions, use the FAST test to help you react quickly:

F (Face): Is any part of the face drooping? Can the person having symptoms smile? Does the smile appear uneven?

A (Arms): Can the person lift their arms? Does one arm drift downward?

S (Speech): Is the person’s speech slurred or nonsensical?

T (Time): Remember that time is critical. If stroke is suspected, call 9-1-1 immediately.


To learn more about Stroke Center-Dallas clinical trials or treatment programs, visit or call/email 214-689-6592 or To find out more about eligibility for treatment, visit To make a donation to the Stroke Center, visit     

About TWU: Texas Woman’s University is the nation’s largest woman-focused university system with campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Founded in 1901, TWU has built a reputation on contributions in nursing, healthcare, education, the arts and sciences, and business. TWU’s inclusive culture prioritizes experiential learning, leadership, service, discovery and health and wellbeing, and national media have recognized the university as a top college for student-parents, veterans and social mobility. In 2023, TWU publicly launched Dream Big, a $125 million fundraising effort to support programming, equipment, scholarships and faculty. To learn more about the campaign or the university, visit or, or connect with TWU on Facebook @TexasWomansUniversity, Instagram @txwomans, Twitter @txwomans, and LinkedIn @texaswomansuniversity.

About TWU Dallas: Texas Woman’s first established a presence in Dallas in 1954, when the nursing program was launched at Parkland Hospital. Today, the T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences – Dallas Center is a 190,000-square-foot facility that sits in the heart of the Southwestern Medical District. Since then, Texas Woman’s has become a notable contributor to the healthcare workforce, graduating an average of 2,000 nursing and allied health professionals each year.

The Dallas campus also is home to the renowned Stroke Center, which provides more than 5,000 hours of clinical, neuro-rehabilitation services annually at no cost to members of the community. In addition to an MBA and graduate level Healthcare Administration programs, the Dallas campus offers upper-level undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

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