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Coverdell Stroke Program: Part of the Wisconsin Chronic Disease Prevention Program

Coverdell Stroke Program in Wisconsin

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has funded stroke quality improvement initiatives since 2001, providing competitive grants to state health departments to support the development of stroke systems of care. This funding is called the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Prevention Program (Coverdell), named after Georgia Senator Paul Coverdell who suffered and died of a stroke while serving in Congress.

In 2021, Wisconsin was one of 13 states to receive funding in the latest iteration of the Coverdell grant program, extending Wisconsin’s ongoing participation in Coverdell since 2012. During this three-year Coverdell grant period, the focus will be to demonstrate improvement across stroke systems of care—from EMS response to inpatient care to post-discharge care and rehabilitation. The program will also work with hospitals and health systems to link and monitor patient‐level data across the continuum of care.

An additional, primary, focus will extend to addressing areas of disparity and inequity that exist in healthcare, including stroke. This is to be accomplished though data-driven quality improvement along with increased emphasis on primary prevention in Wisconsin communities working with partners both in and out of clinical settings.

In the United States, approximately 1 in 20 adult deaths are due to stroke.

It is estimated that 80% of all strokes are preventable.

Source: Preventing Stroke Deaths

2 out of 5 ambulances

Approximately 2 in 5 stroke patients in Wisconsin arrived at the hospital by Emergency Medical Service (EMS) in 2020. When a stroke occurs parts of the brain can be damaged and die within minutes.

Calling 911 can result in more timely care on the way to reduce this damage.

Source: Get With the Guidelines, 2021.

Stroke and the Wisconsin Chronic Disease Prevention Program

The Wisconsin Chronic Disease Prevention Program (CDPP) works with hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), and professional organizations across the state to support a healthier Wisconsin by improving the community awareness and the quality of stroke care.

With funding from the CDC, the CDPP manages several projects to enhance coordinated systems of care, promote clinical best practices, and support patient self-care and health literacy.

The goals of Wisconsin’s stroke program are to:

  • Measure, track, and improve the quality of care for all acute stroke patients.
  • Increase public awareness of stroke treatment and prevention.
  • Through secondary prevention, decrease the rate of premature death and disability from acute stroke.
  • Reduce disparities in acute stroke care by providing underserved populations with better access to high-quality care.
Logo for the Wisconsin Coverdell Stroke Program

Resources by settings

Learn about the impact EMS, hospitals, stroke systems of care and communities can make on improving stroke care.

Emergency Medical Services

Two EMTs delivering a patient to hospital with a doctor in white coat looking on

Learn what EMS providers across Wisconsin are doing to improve stroke care.


Two doctors treat an elderly in the hospital who is accompanied by a partner

Learn what hospitals of various types and sizes are doing to improve stroke care in coordination with Wisconsin’s Coverdell Stroke Program.


Stroke Systems of Care

doctor smiles with stethoscope around neck

Find out how coordinated stroke systems of care, from dispatch and response of emergency medical services (EMS) to transitions home, can improve stroke care.

Community Stroke Education

Be Fast Know the Signs of a Stroke Poster

Learn to recognize the signs of stroke with the help of BE FAST Bella.

Last revised November 16, 2023