Columbus, OH,
16:12 PM

OhioHealth Vascular Neurologist Recognized by American Stroke Association

May is Stroke Awareness Month around the country. A time to understand the risks associated with stroke, and how important it is to get treatment when those symptoms show.

OhioHealth is on the front lines in the battle against stroke, and really encourage people to know BEFAST.

BJ Hicks, MD, vascular neurologist and co-director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, has been named the 2023 Equity Hero by the American Stroke Association. This award recognizes Dr. Hicks’ efforts in improving stroke care and addressing the social determinants of health in underserved areas of Central Ohio.

Dr. Hicks dedicated seven years to the creation of the Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit, which has transformed stroke treatment since its realization in 2019. Initiatives like this are extremely important in timely diagnoses and care for stroke patients even before they reach a hospital.

“In stroke, time is brain,” Dr. Hicks told Tracy Townsend at 10TV. “If people are not getting to the right hospital at the right time, then hours can go by, and diagnoses could be missed, and potential treatment options- the proverbial window for that could close," he explained.

Dr. Hicks also helped launch the Franklin County Hypertension Network, a collaboration between health systems, primary care professionals, and local community organizations to prioritize blood pressure control in Franklin County. 

His efforts have not stopped there. Dr. Hicks continues to fight for health equity, recently taking a legal stand against the sale of flavored tobacco products by business that he says have been known to disproportionately target minority communities.

His commitment to these populations has had an enormous impact on stroke care accessibility. In a battle against the nation’s fifth-leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability, stroke leaders around the state point to Dr. Hicks emerging as a true hero.