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Stroke continues to rank among the leading causes of death and disability. Stroke is a time-sensitive disease, where early activation of the health care system and treatment can limit brain damage and its long-lasting effects on disability. Researchers have found that the risk for stroke is significantly higher for the African American, Latino, and other under- served populations on the West and South sides of Chicago.

The Community Engagement in Early Recognition and Immediate Action in Stroke (CEERIAS) study was funded by PCORI in 2014. The study objective was to use a patient- and community-partnered approach to develop and implement an effective intervention aimed at increasing early hospital arrival for acute stroke in two high-risk neighborhoods in Chicago. The research team created an educational program that prepared community leaders and patient advocates to recognize and train others in the community on the need to “Act FAST for Stroke”.  Through traditional community engagement methods, the knowledge and training shared by these Stroke Promoters helped to bring greater awareness to the community. Simply, being aware of the speed and care given to patients who arrive at the hospital in time for lifesaving treatment, preferably by ambulance, helps to emphasize the importance of “acting FAST” in the community.


COVID-19 has also demonstrated gross disparities in health outcomes, changed our socialization construct, and shown an early connection to stroke. 2CEERIAS will examine the impact of COVID-19 on outcomes and explore recommendations for intervention modification by focusing on messaging and engagement using virtual platforms.


This project has three specific AIMS:

  • Produce recommendations for future patient, family and community-driven research priorities focused on stroke education and early treatment for Black and Latino communities.

  • Address barriers to community stroke activation and assess the impact of neighborhood-level factors on stroke-related disability in the COVID-19 environment.

  • Disseminate and track a modified educational intervention response among Chicagoland Stroke Promoters using online, social, and broadcast media.


2CEERIAS is funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award (EAIN 00196).

  • More than 20,000 people took the Pledge in 2017 and 2018.

  • Our goal is to get 10,000 pledges in 2020.

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The 2CEERIAS Pact to Act FAST is a standardized pledge language executed by community members attesting that they would call 9-1-1 if they witnessed someone having a stroke. By taking the Pact to Act FAST Pledge, the 2CEERIAS research project can demonstrate the number of community partners and persons that have learned about the signs and symptoms of stroke and commit to taking action.

I pledge the 2CEERIAS Pact to Act FAST:

  • I am committed to talking about stroke with friends and family;

  • I understand that "Time is Brain" and that getting to the hospital fast, even during the pandemic is critical for safe and effective treatment of stroke.

  • I am committed to respond immediately and call 911 when someone is experiencing the signs and symptoms of a stroke;

  • I understand that calling 911 immediately when stroke signs appear is to make certain anyone experiencing a stroke can arrive at the hospital in time to be treated with a lifesaving medication that reduces the disability from stroke;

  • I understand that healthy eating, diet, and exercise help to build my immune system and keep me to stay healthy during the pandemic;

  • I am committed to taking steps to better manage stress, diet, and exercise, which can reduce risks associated with COVID-19 and stroke and;

  • I am committed to sharing information about 2CEERIAS with my family, friends, and extended networks to save more lives.

Confirm 2CEERIAS
Pact to Act FAST 
Pledge Here

Get 2CEERIAS About Stroke.  Because Stroke Ain't No Joke

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