FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On June 2, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue issued a proclamation declaring the month of June Aphasia Awareness Month. Citing the affects of aphasia and its prevalence in the United States, the Governor’s proclamation serves to increase public awareness of the disorder. She reinforced her commitment to aphasia awareness by meeting with members of TAP in her office during Aphasia Legislative Day on June 24.
“My own mother suffered from aphasia, and so few North Carolinians know anything about this debilitating condition,” Gov. Perdue said. “I commend the advocates with TAP and WakeMed who dedicate their time to helping people with aphasia and increasing awareness about this little-known disorder.”
There are one million individuals with aphasia in America – this is one in every 250 people. The purpose of declaring June Aphasia Awareness Month and hosting an annual Legislative Day is to help educate North Carolina’s citizens, policymakers, state agency officials, health care professionals, and the general public about aphasia and the need for research programs to support better, more effective treatments.
“The meeting with Governor Perdue, Aphasia Legislative Day and Aphasia Awareness month gives a voice to a disorder that robs its victims of that very power – the ability to communicate thoughts and feelings,” commented Maura Silverman, speech pathologist and director of TAP. “Advocacy is fundamentally courageous, but for individuals without intact communicative abilities, it is truly heroic.”
Aphasia is a communication disorder that is often the result of stroke or brain injury that causes damage to the left hemisphere of the brain, affecting language but preserving intellect, memory and personality. Effects of aphasia may include a loss or reduction in the ability to speak, read, write and comprehend.
TAP helps patients return to work and social pursuits by overcoming the frustration and social stigma associated with aphasia. TAP incorporates the entire family and social circle by teaching family, friends and community members to “speak aphasia” and help build “communication bridges” easing the transition back into the community. TAP provides group and individualized therapy, research, advocacy and support programs for people with aphasia. The programs that TAP has developed are being recognized nationally as a model for intervention in the area of aphasia.
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About WakeMed Health & Hospitals
WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a private, not-for-profit health care organization based in Raleigh, N.C. The 804-bed system comprises a network of health care facilities throughout Wake and Johnston Counties, including: a Level I Trauma Center and tertiary referral hospital and rehabilitation hospital in Raleigh, a community hospital in Cary, comprehensive outpatient centers and freestanding emergency departments in North Raleigh and Apex, seven outpatient rehabilitation sites, two skilled-nursing and outpatient facilities, a 100+-physician multispecialty practice, and home health services. Throughout the system, there are an additional 66 beds under construction and 41 beds recently approved by the state. Centers of excellence include cardiac and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, physical rehab, emergency and trauma, orthopaedics, neurosciences, home care and numerous wellness and community outreach programs. Visit www.wakemed.org.