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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
May 17, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Nathan Rudy
(609) 984-7160

Working Well New Jersey Campaign Urges Stroke Prevention Education in Honor of Stroke Awareness Month


TRENTON, NJ As part of an ongoing campaign focusing on public employee health and wellness, the New Jersey Departments of Personnel (DOP) and Health and Senior Services (DHSS) are urging stroke prevention education through the Working Well New Jersey campaign. 


In conjunction with American Stroke Association (ASA), free stroke screenings for state employees will be conducted today by the St. Francis Medical Center stroke assessment team at the Department of Personnel building in Trenton (44 South Clinton Avenue).  Representatives from the DHSS and St. Francis will also provide information on stroke prevention and risk factors to public employees. 


The presentation and screening is being held in May to coincide with American Stroke Awareness Month.  According to the ASA — a division of the American Heart Association — a stroke is a blockage of blood flow to the brain, caused by either a clogged or ruptured blood vessel.  Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and a leading cause of serious, long-term disabilities. 


In New Jersey, 4,016 people died in 2002 from stroke, making it the third leading cause of death.  More New Jersey women (2,430) than men (1,586) died that year of stroke. 


Working Well New Jersey was created to bring critical, life-saving information to public employees, our State government’s most valuable resource,” said Commissioner of Personnel Rolando Torres, Jr.  “We are proud to partner with DHSS, the American Stroke Association, and St. Francis Medical Center to highlight the need for preventative screenings and education.”

“On average, eleven people die from a stroke every day in New Jersey, a number that can be dramatically reduced with proper screening and preventative care,” said Commissioner Fred. M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.  "We are using Working Well NJ to provide our state employees with information and resources on how to reduce the likelihood of stroke for themselves and their family members."

According to the American Stroke Association, warning signs for strokes include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If any of these signs are experienced, ASA urges you to call 9-1-1 immediately.  For more information on stroke awareness, please call 1-888-4-STROKE, or visit 


Working Well NJ, a partnership between the DHSS and DOP, provides the vehicle to educate and encourage public employee health and wellness.  Through this partnership, DOP and DHSS work in collaboration with public employers across the State to provide access to critical information, studies, and recommendations from a variety of noted health professionals, and county and statewide organizations. A critical component of this program is the development of alliances with some of the largest and most highly regarded non-profit health agencies in the country. These critical alliances will result in New Jersey’s public employees having access to the most up-to-date information and referral services available.


In June, Working Well New Jersey will focus on smoking cessation and skin cancer screenings, as part of an ongoing monthly educational and screening series.  For more information on Working Well New Jersey, or to set up interviews with the Commissioners of Personnel or Health, contact Janeen Lawlor at the Department of Personnel at (609) 777-0298, or Nathan Rudy at the Department of Health and Senior Services at (609) 984-7160. 


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