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‘Stroke Awareness: Always Hope’ Provider Forum Scheduled for May 24


Carthage Area Hospital continues its monthly Community Engagement Series on Wednesday, May 24, with a provider discussion focused on stroke prevention, awareness, care and rehabilitation.

“Stroke Awareness: Always Hope” is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Carthage Elks Lodge, 511 Fulton St. The event is free and open to the public and includes complimentary light food and beverages.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report stroke as the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, linked to some 130,000 fatal cases annually,” said Natalie Burnham, Carthage Area Hospital director of patient, community and employee engagement. “Knowing what to do if a stroke occurs is critical. Our clinical team will present life-saving information that could make all the difference when you need it most.”

Through the Community Engagement Series, Burnham said, hospital officials hope to connect residents with providers in a casual setting where people can comfortably ask questions and engage more completely with clinicians. The stroke event is the third of 10 slated this year.

“We have a wealth of information to share that can improve people’s health,” she said. “This is a chance for residents to access our providers when they aren’t being seen for an appointment.”

The hospital is pleased to introduce four highly qualified speakers from its team who will discuss a range of stroke-related topics, including: prevention, awareness, nutrition, rehabilitation and medications.

Dr. Leilani Garcia, internal medicine, will present “Stroke: Everything you should and need to know;” Susie Kim, MS, RD, CDN, a Board Certified Nutrition Support Clinician, will discuss the role of nutrition in stroke prevention and treatment; Cheryl Tousant, PT, DPT, Carthage Area Hospital’s director of physical therapy, will discuss physical activity, its impact on stroke prevention, and physical rehabilitation after a stroke; and Christopher Bradly, PharmD, MBA, will present “Stroke prevention: A Pharmacists’ perspective.”

Space is limited. Call 315-493-1000, ext. 5209, to reserve your seat today or register online at The deadline to RSVP is Friday, May 19. WWNY TV 7 and WNYF Fox 28 is a proud media sponsor of the Community Engagement Series.

Speaker Information:


Leilani Garcia, M.D. – Internal Medicine and Hospitalist Program Director

Topic: Stroke: Everything you should and need to know

Bio: Dr. Leilani Garcia is a doctor of internal medicine who joined Carthage Area Hospital in 2015. She earned a Doctor of Medicine from The American University of Antigua’s College of Medicine. She completed a residency in internal medicine with Pinnacle Health Systems, Harrisburg, Pa. Her specialty has required extensive training in the management of both acute and chronic health disorders. She provides short- and long-term, comprehensive medical care in managing both common and complex illnesses of adolescents, adults and the elderly. Dr. Garcia is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She also serves as Carthage Area Hospital’s Hospitalist Program Director.


Susie Kim, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC – Clinical Nutritionist

Topic: The role of nutrition in stroke prevention and treatment

Bio: Susan “Susie” Kim is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist and Board Certified Nutrition Support Clinician who joined the Carthage Area Hospital’s Clinical Nutrition team in 2017. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She earned a Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Colorado State University. Susie is a Denver, Colo., native who moved to the North Country with her fiancée in 2016. She provides nutritional services in the community and the hospital’s school-based health centers. Susie enjoys gardening, animals, cooking and baking and has a knack for arts and crafts.


Cheryl Tousant, PT, DPT – Doctor of Physical Therapy and Director of Physical Therapy

Topic: Physical activity, its impact on stroke prevention, and rehabilitation after a stroke

Bio:  Cheryl Tousant, PT, DPT, is the Director of Physical Therapy at Carthage Area Hospital. She graduated from Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y., with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Doctor of Physical Therapy. She joined Carthage Area Hospital in 2009 and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. She specializes in geriatric care for the older adult population (ages 65-plus), including interventions and education for fall risk reduction, and reconditioning older adults. She is an advocate for Evidence-Base Practice, which combines cutting edge assessments using standardized outcome-based measurements and functional interventions. She is a firm believer in patient-centred care.


Dr. Christopher Bradley, PharmD, MBA – Clinical Pharmacist

Topic: Breathing Better: An overview of Respiratory System Medications

Bio: Dr. Christopher Bradley is the Clinical Pharmacist at Carthage Area Hospital. A Watertown native, he joined the hospital team in 2015. He graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy from Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2010 and earned a MBA from Endicott College, Beverly, Mass., in 2012. While a pharmacy student, he trained extensively at Albany Medical Center in various units. He specializes in antibiotic therapy, medication reconciliation, provider/patient education and new treatment guidelines. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and their two corgis.

About Carthage Area Hospital

Carthage Area Hospital was established as a not-for-profit rural community hospital in 1965. It operates today as a fully accredited 25-bed Critical Access Hospital, serving approximately 83,000 residents in Jefferson, northern Lewis and southern St. Lawrence counties.

The hospital also operates a network of community-based clinics, including its Family Health Center, Pediatric Clinic and Women’s Way to Wellness and provides a range of specialty care, including general surgery, orthopedics, urology, physical therapy and behavioral health.