The gap between large centres and smaller ones is narrowing when it comes to strokes.

And strokes can happen at any age.

Samantha Berscht, the Director of Health Policy and Systems with the Heart and Stroke Foundation says it's because of the many advances that have been made over the years, which are a focus for June, stroke month.

"This year we're really focusing on the milestones, really how far we've come as far in terms of stroke care. Thirty to forty years ago when we really couldn't offer anybody any kind of treatment and support for people who were having strokes so we're focusing on the milestones, the research breakthroughs the increased awareness improvements to care, all those pieces are the focus of stroke month," Berscht says.

About 15 years ago Tele-Stroke started using video technology to connect smaller, rural centres with larger hospitals in Calgary and Edmonton.

It provides real time assistance where specialists can diagnose and assist with treatment of someone who has suffered a stroke.

Another key point is to make sure everyone is aware of the signs of a stroke too as Berscht says "get the ball rolling".

"As soon as you call 911 you start the process, everybody gets in place, EMS alerts the hospital that you're coming, the hospital Emergency department knows to get scanning ready or to get those resources in place so we have seen that gap closed but so much of that is due to starting the process, calling 911 immediately if you recognize those FAST signs."

She's referring to F-A-S-T as in Face, is it drooping, Arms, can you raise them both, Speech, is it slurred or jumbled and Time, it's time to call 911.

The Public Health Agency of Canada notes there's just under 90,000 strokes happening each year with just under 9,000 in Alberta.

There's also about 90,000 Albertans living with the effects of a stroke.