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

Coverdell Stroke Program in Wisconsin

Logo for the Wisconsin Coverdell Stroke Program

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 (PDF)

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.

The objectives of the program are:

  • Public Awareness- Promote messaging for stroke prevention, signs and symptoms, and the importance of calling 911.
  • Partnerships – Increase and maintain multi-disciplinary partnerships. These include Stroke Coordinators of Wisconsin, the EMS Board Physician Advisory Committee, and others. These partnerships guide the Wisconsin Coverdell Stroke Program and enhance other statewide stroke efforts.
  • Recruitment – Recruit and engage EMS, hospital systems, and community partners in quality improvement.
  • Data Infrastructure – Implement an integrated data management system. It will measure, track, and assess the quality of care.
  • Data Use – Increase the reliability and use of stroke data across transitions of care. This includes EMS to hospital, hospital to home, and primary care to community services.
  • Quality Improvement – Coordinate efforts to improve quality of stroke care.
  • Sustainability – Develop a plan and/or methods to support ongoing coordinated stroke care systems.

Resources by settings

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

Emergency Medical Services

Icon representing EMS showing a drawing of an ambulance with a circle around it.

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


Hospital Icons showing 3 drawings: one with the medical symbol, one with a bed drawn, one with a rectangle with 4 lines in the rectangle depicting text. All icons have circles around them.

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

Icons showing drawings of houses, an ambulance, a medical symbol, a bed, and a document. Each drawing has a circle around it.

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

Community Stroke Education

Community icon showing a drawing of 3 houses surrounded by a circle.

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

Last revised April 11, 2024