Paul George Joins F.A.S.T. Campaign to Raise Stroke Awareness

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and Ad Council release new PSAs and Spanish version of the F.A.S.T. App as part of American Stroke Month in May

May 21, 2014, 08:30 ET from The Ad Council

DALLAS, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Paul George, swingman of the Indiana Pacers, is teaming up with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and the Ad Council to raise awareness about F.A.S.T. — an acronym used to describe common stroke signs and reinforce the need to call 9-1-1 for stroke.

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F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F - Face Drooping - Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness - Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?        
  • S - Speech Difficulty - Is speech slurred? Are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like: "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T- Time to call 9-1-1 - If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Following the 2013-2014 NBA season, George will star in new stroke awareness public service advertisements (PSAs) to educate the public on how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T. Serving as captain of the Eastern Conference team during the NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans this February, George selected the American Heart Association as one of the two beneficiaries of the $500,000 prize.

"My mom suffered a stroke when I was 6-years-old and the experience had an impact on me and my childhood," George said. "She was in the hospital for months and partially paralyzed. Basketball was a distraction that helped me get through it."

As part of American Stroke Month during May, the American Stroke Association and Ad Council are releasing new PSAs and a Spanish language version of the campaign's Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. app. The first English version of the app launched to consumers in 2013.

"During American Stroke Month and beyond, we need to get the word out about the stroke warning signs," George said. "The acronym F.A.S.T is an easy way to recognize a stroke. When you recognize a stroke and act fast, it may help to reduce disability and death caused by stroke. Timing is everything. The warning signs are easy to learn and I know it can make a life-changing difference."

Created pro bono by The BAM Connection, the new radio, outdoor, and web PSAs teach F.A.S.T. and drive audiences to for additional resources. 

"In about 20 seconds you can learn the signs of a stroke, and how to save someone's life. Why wouldn't you?" said Rob Baiocco, CCO of The BAM Connection. "These PSAs create urgency around the issue, by having the message hit you with the same sudden impact that a stroke does. So hopefully everyone will choose to learn F.A.S.T., and we can lessen the devastating effects of stroke." 

The Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. app, created by Nexus 6, is now available in English and Spanish and is designed to help individuals easily recognize a stroke. The free app explains the F.A.S.T. acronym and allows users to call 9-1-1 directly from the app. Also, featured is stroke information and a hospital locator for nearby hospitals recognized for heart and stroke care. Both versions of the app are at

"Stroke awareness is an incredibly important issue and the F.A.S.T. campaign makes it easier than ever to both remember and recognize the signs of stroke and know what should be done in the event of one," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "This campaign equips people with critical information that could save someone's life from stroke."

Per the Ad Council's model, the new PSAs will be distributed to more than 33,000 stations nationwide and run in space and time entirely donated by the media.

"We're pleased to have such a great team working with us to educate Americans about stroke, which claims a life every four minutes in the U.S. and remains a leading preventable cause of disability," said Hank Wasiak, immediate past chair of the American Stroke Association Advisory Committee. "We're looking forward to continuing our lifesaving work together, and making a real difference in the lives of the 795,000 people who suffer a stroke each year and their loved ones."

The Ad Council has partnered with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for more than 12 years to create public service campaigns surrounding some of the most critical health issues in America, including cardiovascular health and high blood pressure. The Stroke Awareness F.A.S.T. campaign was first launched in January 2013 and to date the PSAs have received $30.7 million in donated media.

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — America's No. 4 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent, treat and beat stroke. The Dallas-based association was created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit

The Ad Council
The Ad Council has a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.

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SOURCE The Ad Council