Heart Disease and Stroke

Each year, heart disease and stroke claim one out of every three lives in Wisconsin, affecting an increasing proportion of people under the age of 65. The good news is that many risk factors for heart disease and stroke – hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, overweight and obesity, and diabetes – are largely preventable.

The Wisconsin Chronic Disease Prevention Unit (CDPU) works with health systems, health care providers, insurers and professional organizations across the state to support a healthier Wisconsin by improving the prevention and management of heart disease and stroke. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDPU manages several projects to enhance coordinated systems of care, promote clinical best practices, and support patient self-care and health literacy. Current projects include:

  • Increase awareness of and referrals for high blood pressure.
  • Increase use of medication therapy management (MTM) for diabetes and hypertension.
  • Increase coordination of team-based care in health systems.
  • Increase patients’ self-monitoring of blood pressure.
  • Improve stroke systems of care

Wisconsin Coverdell Stroke Program

The Wisconsin Coverdell Stroke Program works with multiple health systems, emergency medical systems (EMS), and organizations across the state to improve stroke systems of care – from community awareness and dispatch of EMS, to acute stroke treatment and post-stroke care. Funding for the program is made possible through the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Prevention Program (2015-2020) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As part of the national program, Wisconsin’s comprehensive approach touches on seven key areas for improvement (see diagram). This includes working with the multi-disciplinary Wisconsin Stroke Coalition on their strategic roadmap, facilitating a statewide stroke registry, conducting stroke-related professional education, and providing technical assistance to improve stroke care among partnering EMS agencies and hospitals.

For more information, go to the Coverdell Stroke Program page.

Million Hearts® Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Heart Disease and Stroke Alliance (HDSA) invites your participation in the Million Hearts® Wisconsin Blood Pressure Improvement CHALLENGE, a one-year campaign to promote improvements in blood pressure control and management. The Million Hearts® Wisconsin CHALLENGE is part of the national CDC Million Hearts® initiative to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

In Wisconsin, heart disease is one of two leading causes of all adult deaths (2013); over 1.3 million Wisconsin adults have hypertension. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women of all races.

For more information, go to the Million Hearts® Wisconsin Blood Pressure Improvement CHALLENGE page.

Check out these resources to help raise awareness of stroke signs and symptoms:

12 Signs of Stroke Video

Web Pages

For more information, contact:
Jessica Link, Interim Director
Wisconsin Coverdell Stroke Program
jessica.link@wi.gov or 608-261-9422


Last Revised: November 10, 2015