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Hartford HealthCare Launches Stroke Support Group in Eastern CT

May 19, 2023

Recovery from a stroke doesn’t end with a discharge from the hospital. In fact, the journey can take months, and can include areas outside of medical issues, ranging from mental health to getting back to work.

The complexity of recovering from a stroke is why Hartford HealthCare has created the Survivors of Stroke (SOS) Support Group, which meets the first Wednesday of each month at the Colchester Senior Center. The group is free and open to anyone.

“While there is always medical follow up on an outpatient basis with stroke, it is also important to provide support for other questions and issues,” says Navdeep Lail, MD, a vascular neurologist and stroke medical director at Backus Hospital.

“It is important to meet other people, share information and learn.”

The group is open to stroke patients, their caregivers and family members. Participants do not have to be patients of HHC doctors to attend. It will be facilitated by Maureen Hahn RN, BSN, stroke nurse navigator for Hartford HealthCare’s East Region.

Dr. Lail says he worked with such a group when he was doing his medical residency, and he wanted to bring a similar program to eastern Connecticut. “It was very helpful to everyone, and it was a great way to get a lot of information to a lot of people at once. People can share their stories, they can share what issues they are facing, whether it’s emotional, financial, or other life challenges.”

Each stroke patient has a unique recovery experience, he notes, and every one can benefit from shared information. Participants are encouraged to attend multiple sessions, as their recovery changes as they get better. “And new people can always benefit from hearing from those with more experience,” he says.

“It’s really important for stroke survivors to be able to share their stories and experiences, struggles and triumphs, in a setting where they aren’t worried about any stroke deficits they may have,” Hahn says.

The group has been meeting for a couple of months, and already the feedback is good, Dr. Lail says. The next dates of the group meetings are: June 14; July 5; August 2; September 6; October 4. For more information call 860-207-0040.