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SEE WHY: Gadsden County has one of the highest rates of hospitalizations from stroke in Florida

Neighbors are working to give people resources on stroke education.
Posted at 5:11 PM, May 24, 2024
  • Gadsden County has one of the highest rates of hospitalizations from stroke in the big bend.
  • Neighbors of all ages can experience a stroke.
  • Watch the video to see how to prevent having a stroke.


I’m Ashley Engle your Quincy neighborhood reporter.

I'm digging into this data from the Florida Department of Health to see why the numbers are so high.

Informing neighbors about strokes.

"It is very important."

A topic Gadsden County's Director of Elder Services Latoya Fryson say's is discussed a lot.

"We provide those programs to keep them going and keep them active."

When it comes to age-adjusted hospitalizations from stroke in 2022, the rate per 100,000 people in Gadsden County of the highest rates in the state.

Compare that to the entire state's average in 2022, which stood at 235.

"Time is brain, call 9-1-1 immediately."

Dr. Mena Samaan MD is a neurologist at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.

He tells me some stroke symptoms include sudden confusion, weakness, trouble seeing and walking and having a headache.

"So I found this data on Florida Health Charts and it looks like Gadsden County is in the red for the rate when it comes to hospitalizations for stroke patients, so why do you think that is?"

"Unfortunately, that are a lot of things in the area that can contribute to this. Number one is lifestyle, number two is high blood pressure and number 3 is diabetes.

I checked Stanford Medicine, and they say the majority of strokes happen in people 65 and older.

As many as 10% of people in the U.S. who experience a stroke are younger than 45.

"We don't take care of our lifestyles, we will have heart disease, we will have stroke."

Meanwhile, Fryson says at the senior center, they educate neighbors on healthy diets, exercise and stroke symptoms.

"We're providing the programs and services for them to be engaged and active and that's what is all about."

A well-balanced diet, exercising at least 30 minutes three times a week, and watching out for symptoms can save your life.

But when in doubt, call 9-1-1.

May is stroke awareness month and Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare will be having a free webinar for those who want to learn more about strokes. This is taking place Tuesday, May 28th. I'll have more information about this linked to this story on our website at

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Stroke Webinar Link