global view constructed of white lines
pni team members at a charity run
July 4, 2017

Running FAST at the July 4th Palisades Will Rogers 5K & 10K

by Zara Jethani

Pacific Palisades (July 4, 2017) – Crowds of participants came out to show their commitment to health and wellness at the July 4th Palisades Will Rogers 5K and 10K run. The early-morning event celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and also included a non-competitive kids run.

Providence Saint John’s Health Center was a major sponsor again this year. “One of the reasons the foundation, trustees and hospital want to be involved with this event is that it really speaks to the mission of Saint John’s,” says Robert O. Klein, President & CEO, Saint John’s Health Center Foundation, “When people are sick we get them better, but a big part of our mission is preventative health, and there’s no doubt that exercise is an elixir for a lot of different conditions.”

As well as participating in the run, our Pacific Stroke & Aneurysm Center team including Stroke Manager Renee Ovando, handed out all kinds of giveaways at our booth.

The message? Run FAST, Think FAST, FAST can save your life!

“FAST refers to the method of quickly identifying if someone is suffering a stroke,” says Dr. Jason Tarpley, stroke neurologist and director of Pacific Stroke & Aneurysm Center, who also participated in the run.

F – Face drooping

A – Arm weakness

S – Speech slurring

T – Time to call 911

Ischemic stroke can be painless and that’s actually a problem. When someone’s having weakness of one side or difficulty speaking, sometimes they wait. Don’t wait. Call 911 and go to a stroke center that is capable of treating you,” he adds.

Dr. Don Larsen, Chief Medical Officer at Providence Saint John’s Health Center states, “In stroke, good outcomes are related to how fast patients are evaluated and treated for stroke. Providence Saint John’s is the fastest stroke center on the entire west side of Los Angeles, and we rank 2nd out of 45 stroke centers in all of Los Angeles county.” (Source: LA county EMS data)

Stroke team and Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian with his sons.
Stroke team and Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian with his sons


Skull-base neurosurgeon Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian, director of the Pacific Facial Pain and Pacific Adult Hydrocephalus Centers, ran with his two young sons. “Running is one of the best activities one can do to improve health,” he says. “It was truly a pleasure running amongst 3,000 athletes of all ages at the Will Rogers 5K/10K. Our mission at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and the Pacific Neuroscience Institute is to provide the highest quality neurosurgical and neurological care to the members of our community. It is a privilege to serve the members of our strong community that fosters such friendship and camaraderie.”

Dr. Larsen adds, “Regular and adequate levels of physical activity can reduce the risk of stroke as well as many other chronic conditions including hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer and depression. At Providence Saint John’s Health Center, our goal is to optimize the health and wellness in the communities that we serve. Our support of this event not only helps us achieve these goals, but, it’s also fun to meet new friends and neighbors, which can help with our mental wellbeing as well. It’s certainly a privilege and a pleasure to serve this great community that I also call home.”

Among the other runners was Michelle Philips who is conducting a patient quality research project at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute and the Saint John’s Cancer Institute before heading off to medical school.

All in all, a fun time was had by everyone. Net proceeds from the event go towards the Pacific Palisades Optimist Club who supports various youth charities and activities.

For more information about our stroke program, please visit Pacific Stroke & Aneurysm Center.

To find out more, Dr. Jason Tarpley separates myth from fact in this series of stroke video interviews.


Zara Jethani, MS, MBA

Zara Jethani, MS, MBA, is the marketing director for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute. Her background is in graphic design, molecular genetics research and healthcare marketing.


About the Author

Zara Jethani, MS, MBA

Zara Jethani

Zara is the marketing director at Pacific Neuroscience Institute. Her background is in molecular genetics research and healthcare marketing. In addition, she is a graphic designer with more than 20 years experience in the healthcare, education and entertainment industries.

Last updated: July 18th, 2017