GCI Health Expands Work with Non-Profit Advocacy Organizations in New Partnership with YoungStroke


New York, NY – February 3, 2015 – GCI Health, a leading healthcare-focused global public relations agency, today announced a new partnership with YoungStroke, Inc., the first and only American advocacy organization working to address the unique unmet needs of young adult stroke survivors. GCI Health is supporting the development of foundational branding and communications strategies for YoungStroke as the organization works to raise awareness of this debilitating condition and prepares for its inaugural conference, YoungStroke 2015, taking place June 27-29 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Each year, approximately 30 percent of people who suffer a stroke are under age 65. Among some Southeastern states, this number now exceeds 50 percent. Increasing prevalence of risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity, are contributing to alarming rates of strokes occurring in young adults. Despite these risks, there is a lack of public awareness about the condition – more than 75 percent of Americans cannot name the most common warning sign of stroke — which can have deadly consequences for stroke sufferers. Early detection is crucial to helping save a stroke sufferer’s life, but societal ignorance of young stroke means that many young stroke patients experience misdiagnosis and delayed access to care.
In addition to raising awareness of this significant health risk, GCI Health is assisting YoungStroke in publicizing the resources it offers for this often overlooked population. Strokes pose particularly devastating financial and physical burdens for young survivors, as they face challenging paths to regain independence and return to their professional and family caregiving roles. The organization offers community-based educational programs, hosts vibrant online communities for people affected by stroke, and advocates for credible, national data initiatives that can teach policymakers and healthcare providers about young stroke in America.
“This will be a monumental year for YoungStroke as we host experts from around the world at YoungStroke 2015 and continue to expand our services for people impacted by young stroke,” said Amy Edmunds, founder and CEO of YoungStroke. “GCI Health’s deep experience in the field of cardiovascular health and commitment to patients are helping to propel us forward as we communicate our unique offering to young stroke survivors in need as well as potential corporate partners.”
Through strategic collaborative partnerships with organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, National Stroke Association and the World Stroke Organization, YoungStroke works to advocate for increased research and policies that will improve the quality of life of young stroke survivors and their caregivers. GCI Health will be assisting the organization to build upon these relationships and identify new partners with an interest in stroke and related risk factors, young adult health, and health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities in the Southeastern United States.
“Our strong background in healthcare communications, coupled with deep experience working with advocacy organizations, positioned us uniquely to help YoungStroke address the rapidly growing problem of stroke among young adults in America,” said Wendy Lund, CEO of GCI Health. “We’ll be tapping our network of healthcare and media relationships to help identify mutually beneficial relationships with new partners ready to help raise public awareness of young stroke.”
Reaching At-risk Populations at YoungStroke 2015
The YoungStroke 2015 conference in Jacksonville, Florida is a critical opportunity for survivors and caregivers to help shape a new agenda for young stroke in America. With endorsement from the World Stroke Organization and sponsorship by the Mayo Clinic, YoungStroke 2015 will bring together stakeholders to collaborate and serve as a catalyst for changes in policy, communities and the healthcare system.
The international, inaugural event aims to propel awareness of young stroke survivors to the forefront of public attention and raise the level of discussion among policymakers. Presentation topics will include: clinical practices and rehabilitative therapies specific to young stroke, community interventions to reduce young stroke and raise awareness, the cultural context of strokes in the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor and a keynote address by Bo Norrving, MD, the 2014 recipient of both the Karolinska Stroke Award for Excellence in Stroke Research and the Award for Leadership in Stroke Medicine from the World Stroke Organization.
YoungStroke 2015 sponsors will be exposed to highly engaged attendees with an unmet need for information, assistive products and services and groundbreaking research to improve quality of life for those directly and indirectly affected by stroke. To register or learn more, visit www.YoungStroke.org.
About YoungStroke, Inc.
YoungStroke, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, is the first and only American advocacy organization working to address the unique unmet needs of young adult stroke survivors. We unite the voices of young stroke survivors, advocate for change, spread awareness and ignite conversation about young stroke in America. YoungStroke looks to especially raise awareness of populations that have a higher risk for stroke, including in the “Stroke Buckle” across South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia and the overlapping Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. The YoungStroke organization was established by Amy Edmunds, who after surviving an ischemic stroke at age 45, wanted to create a community for young stroke survivors and eliminate the perception of survivors as a uniform population with identical needs for rehabilitative care.
To learn more, please visit www.YoungStroke.org.
About GCI Health
GCI Health is a forward-thinking healthcare public relations agency powered by best-in-the-business professionals and is the only WPP company that specializes in healthcare public relations. With communications professionals across the U.S., Canada and Europe, GCI Health’s client roster spans broadly across all sectors in healthcare, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical technology, consumer health, provider groups (hospitals and managed care), health IT, beauty and aesthetics and non-profit. GCI Health offers clients an accessible senior level leadership team, A-to-Z healthcare experience, a commitment to beating client expectations, and an obsession with anticipating the challenges of an increasingly complex and transforming healthcare communications environment. With insider’s knowledge of health media, high science, digital health strategy, consumer activation, crisis management, reputation building, patient advocacy and health education, GCI Health’s focus on delivering results is unrelenting. The agency has been recognized as one of the top five healthcare PR firms in the world by the Holmes Report in 2013 and 2014.
For more information, please visit www.gcihealth.com.

GCI Health forged a partnership with Hearst women’s title Redbook and online health information source HealthyWomen.org. The HealthiHER Project is an attempt to better understand the health habits of women 30-60 years of age. As a first step in the project, there will be a survey of women in that demographic, addressing their healthcare decisions and needs. The goal of the research is to give these women the information and inspiration they need to make healthier choices. “We’re excited to be working with Redbook and HealthyWomen to uncover some key insights that will help us better communicate with this important population,” said GCI Health CEO Wendy Lund.

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