"To have a lasting impact on the community we serve, we need to better understand and recognize each other's perspectives."

Future 50 Class of 2020

Dr. B.J. Hicks

Neurological physician, co-director Comprehensive Stroke Program–OhioHealth

About: Stroke has fallen from the No. 4 killer to No. 5 in large part because of enhanced treatment protocols and new programs such as “target blood pressure” that have been put into practice, including under Dr. B.J. Hicks’ leadership at Riverside Methodist Hospital. He took on a critical role in helping Riverside elevate its stroke care and treat patients according to American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines. That resulted in the hospital being recognized as one of the associations’ first Comprehensive Stroke Centers in the nation.

Hicks, who is local AHA/ASA president, helped lead advocacy efforts regarding a stroke facility recognition bill in Ohio, which was recently signed into law. He brought together physicians, stroke coordinators, EMS personnel, hospital government relations staff and nurses. A champion for advocacy, he often participates in AHA/ASA meetings after working an all-night shift.

Outside of work: On behalf of the AHA/ASA, Hicks has spoken at community events, led “lunch and learns” at businesses and met with elected officials. Last summer, he helped counsel hundreds of participants in the Columbus African American Male Health Initiative about their personal risk factors and how to live a heart-healthy life.

50 ideas to move the region forward. Here's who else is in the Future 50 Class of 2020.

What does Columbus need to thrive? “Columbus’s collaborative and civic worldview—the Columbus Way—long has been and should remain one of the city’s greatest treasures. By embracing and engaging in public and private partnerships, Columbus has developed a model that benefits businesses and residents alike. As the city continues to grow, it is critical to maintain the Columbus Way model of civility. “

Hicks’ idea: “The Empathy Project. Positive, lasting impact begins at the micro level closest to the community it serves. But to have a lasting impact on the community we serve, we need to better understand and recognize each other’s perspectives through active engagement. Through the Empathy Project, each Future 50 member can identify a nonprofit with which they are not familiar and volunteer.”

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