Spark Grants

Congratulations to our 2020
Spark Grant Award recipients!

Social JusticePatient Education and Community Engagement around Cerebral Vascular Accident in Roxbury and Dorchester

A Stroke Education Campaign in Black Communities to Improve Survival and Recovery

Black Americans are at greater risk for stroke than any other race and are more likely to have a stroke at a younger age, die from stroke, and have more post-stroke disability. Compared to other races, Black Americans are even more likely to delay seeking care when having a stroke. This delay can be catastrophic, as early treatment can mean the difference between making a full recovery versus severe disability and even death.  Patient education is one of many keys to helping black communities reduce death and disability due to stroke, a condition that kills 1 out of every 5 Americans. The Spark Grant recipients for Social Justice propose a public health and patient education campaign in the majority black neighborhoods of Roxbury and Dorchester to educate local citizens on the importance of seeking immediate care for stroke.  Through a video series, mail flyers, community outreach and a digital hub of information, project lead Mariama Runcie, MD, and collaborators hope to educate black communities to recognize the signs of stroke and seek immediate care at nearby medical facilities. This sincere effort also aims to restore Black Americans’ faith in a medical system that has traditionally underserved them, underscoring that they are welcome and deserving of state-of-the-art care.

Project Lead

Mariama Runcie MD


Alister Martin MD, MPP; Lauren Russell: PhD candidate; Benjamin Goldman: PhD candidate