Adelaide nurse Lizzie Dodd has been recognised for her extraordinary long-term dedication and commitment to stroke, winning the Stroke Foundation and Stroke Society of Australasia (SSA) 2018 Stroke Care Champion Award.

Working from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Stroke Nurse Consultant has been instrumental in driving patient improvements across South Australia. Miss Dodd said it was a great honour to receive the award, which was handed out in front of hundreds of health professionals at the Stroke 2018: Bridging the continuum conference in Sydney last Thursday. “The Stroke Care Champion Award has given me renewed energy for projects within the stroke unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital,” Miss Dodd said. “To be viewed as an inspiration to some of my colleagues makes me walk taller and try harder.”

In being nominated for the award, Miss Dodd was described as someone who demonstrated remarkable compassion, dedication, insight and empathy – consistently going above and beyond her regular duties to deliver excellent care to patients and their families. Despite the hectic demands of the stroke unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Miss Dodd ensures decisions regarding acute stroke management are made quickly and correctly in a smooth and efficient manner.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan congratulated Miss Dodd on her achievement. Ms McGowan thanked Miss Dodd for her commitment to improving outcomes for patients and reducing the burden of stroke on the state. “With more than 5000 strokes expected in South Australia this year alone, we need champions like Miss Dodd to lead the way in stroke treatment and care,” Ms McGowan said. “Stroke is a devastating disease which attacks the brain and changes lives in an instant, but it can be treated and it can be beaten”.

Almost 40 health professionals were nominated for the 2018 Stroke Care Champion Award including neurologists, stroke nurses, occupational therapists, speech therapists and researchers, with seven named as finalists. Miss Dodd said with National Stroke Week upon us from 3 to 9 September, it is important for everyone to remember stroke prevention is always better than the cure. “During Stroke Week, I urge you to get your blood pressure checked and choose a healthier lifestyle. Small changes like increasing exercise, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can significantly reduce your stroke risk,’’ she said.

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