Press Releases

October 11, 2012

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Hosts 7th Annual Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other, Inc. (SSEEO) Conference

Lake Forest, IL - Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other, Inc. (SSEEO), a volunteer grassroots organization, held today its 7th Annual Conference at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s Wood-Prince Family Stroke Center. The free conference, called Conquering the Puzzle of Stroke Recovery, was open to stroke survivors and their families, as well as physicians, nurses and supporting clinical services that treat stroke patients.

“The SSEEO conference brings together stroke survivors and their families with the healthcare professionals who treat them to further our mission of providing advocacy, support, education and resources for all those impacted by stroke,” said Phyllis Weiss, stroke survivor and vice president of SSEEO. “It is essential that stroke patients and their families have support and strategies for what is often a very long rehabilitation process.”

The conference included sessions about finding humor, inner strength and a new sense of purpose after stroke. Sessions also provided strategies for being a strong advocate for your health during rehabilitation and discussed dietary strategies to increase wellness throughout life.

SSEEO is the first nonprofit patient-supported stroke advocacy group in the nation. Founded in 2004 by stroke survivors, SSEEO is a statewide Illinois group with hundreds of members who are champions for survivors and their families in communities across Illinois. Through its newsletters, website and toll-free phone support group, it reaches families in other states, as well as other countries.

Illinois legislation championed by SSEEO and passed in 2009 established a special set of requirements for hospitals, intended to save more stroke patients’ lives and lessen the need for institutional care. The law says that only those facilities designated as Primary Stroke Centers can receive ambulances transporting patients with stroke-like symptoms, to ensure patients are presented at a hospital with the resources to immediately treat a stroke patient. Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s Wood-Prince Family Stroke Center received accreditation in July 2010 as a Certified Primary Stroke Center.

“The Wood-Prince Stroke Center unites our local EMS network members with emergency services, radiology, critical care and neurology experts in a coordinated team so stroke victims receive the best, most appropriate and most efficient care immediately upon arrival at the hospital,” said William Pearce, MD, vascular surgeon at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and member of Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation.

“Northwestern Lake Forest recognizes the long road stroke survivors face after they leave the hospital and are pleased to host this conference and support SSEEO’s mission of providing ongoing and sustaining support and advocacy for stroke patients and their families,” added Laura Meller, clinical nurse specialist, acute care services at Northwestern Lake Forest.

For more information about SSEEO, visit

About Northwestern Medicine®

Northwestern Medicine® is the collaboration between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine around a strategic vision to transform the future of healthcare. It encompasses the research, teaching and patient care activities of the academic medical center. Sharing a commitment to superior quality, academic excellence and patient safety, the organizations within Northwestern Medicine comprise more than 9,000 clinical and administrative staff, 3,100 medical and science faculty and 700 students. The entities involved in Northwestern Medicine remain separate organizations. Northwestern Medicine is a trademark of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and is used by Northwestern University.

About Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is a wholly owned entity of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. The hospital has more than 700 physicians board-certified in 90 medical specialties, located at its Lake Forest and Grayslake campuses and at facilities in Glenview, Gurnee Brookside, Gurnee Tower Court, Libertyville, Lindenhurst and Vernon Hills. Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is ranked among Illinois’ “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report, has been named the Consumer Choice hospital in Lake and Kenosha counties for nine years in a row by National Research Corporation and receives an "A" Hospital Safety Score from the nonprofit Leapfrog Group. Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is a Magnet hospital, having earned the country’s highest recognition for patient care and nursing and is rated among the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” guide by Working Mother magazine. For more information, visit

About Northwestern Medical Group

Northwestern Medical Group is a multi-site physician network with 122 physicians offering primary and specialty care services, including internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, dermatology, corporate health, executive health, integrative medicine, sports medicine, and travel medicine. Northwestern Medical Group has 25 locations throughout the Chicago area, including Chicago offices in the Loop, Streeterville, Wicker Park/Bucktown, Lincoln Park and Lakeview, as well as offices in Deerfield, Evanston, Glenview, Grayslake, Highland Park, Lake Forest, and Libertyville. All physicians are on the medical staffs of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and/or Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.