The 13th annual Northeast Cerebrovascular Consortium (NECC) summit honored Dr. Olajide Williams yesterday with the American Stroke Association Community Conscience Award for his unique research based on stroke disparities in communities.
“I am humbled, overwhelmed, deeply honored and grateful,” said Dr. Williams during Thursday’s summit.
Dr. Olajide Williams is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Medical Director of Acute Stroke Services at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Chief of Staff of Neurology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and surgeons.
“I love attending the NECC Summit because it gives me a chance to interact with peers, colleagues and I learn so much,” Dr. Williams said.
With the approach of World Stroke Day on October 29th, Dr. Williams has two messages. “My first message is to stroke survivors,” he said. “Keep moving forward, we are here fighting alongside you.”
The second message from Dr. Williams is to the public. “Learn the FAST signs of stroke, (Face drooping, Arm numbness, Slurred Speech, Time to call 911), because getting a loved one or a stranger to the hospital in time could be the difference between permanent disability and the reversal of disability.”
His research is focused on community-based behavioral interventions with an emphasis on stroke disparities. He is an NIH-funded researcher, leading stroke expert, community health education innovator, and has authored numerous peer reviewed articles.
As founder of Hip Hop Public Health, Dr. Williams targets economically disadvantaged urban environments through music, multimedia, and entertainment based programming in collaboration with music industry experts and artists.
“Dr. Williams’ creativity and passion are exemplified by the Hip Hop Stroke Program, an innovative educational initiative focused on teaching children and families about stroke and healthy behaviors,” said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University and Attending Neurologist on the Stroke Service at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and also Chair, ASA Advisory Committee and AHA National Board member.
“The program has grown from its roots in Harlem and New York City to become a national model for health literacy more broadly,” said Dr. Elkind. “Under Jide’s leadership, children in Harlem, and now nationally, are literally dancing their way to a healthier life for themselves and their families!”
Dr. Williams has received numerous local, regional, national and international honors for his public health work, his scholarly activities, teaching, and his patient care, including a European Stroke Research Foundation Investigator of the Year award, Congressional “Rising Leader” Citation, New York State Proclamation, Columbia University Distinguished Teacher Award, American Heart Association Trailblazer award, and a National Humanism in Medicine award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. He is also a member of the American Heart Association’s Founders Affiliate Board.