The mission of the Wisconsin Stroke Coalition (WSC) is to reduce the burden of stroke, improve patient outcomes, and support a healthy population. The WSC is made up of representatives from hospitals and EMS, professional organizations, academic institutions, public health, and industry partners. The group provides clinical presentations, reviews performance improvement data, and discusses opportunities to collaborate on shared initiatives. The WSC is working to ensure that all patients in Wisconsin receive timely, high-quality acute stroke care, regardless of age or where they live. Everyone benefits from faster treatment.
In support of its mission, the group works on system-level and environmental changes to:
- Promote the development of stroke systems of care.
- Reinforce evidence-based practices and standards to improve stroke transitions of care.
- Communicate progress in implementing stroke systems of care.
- Plan for sustainable, statewide stroke quality improvement.
The WSC is directed by chairs Dr. Mark Wegner and Dr. Kerry Ahrens in collaboration with a steering committee.
Dr. Mark Wegner
Chronic Disease Medical Advisor, Department of Health Services
Dr. Kerry Ahrens
Emergency Medicine, BayCare Clinic Oshkosh, Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh; MedFlight Physician; Associate Medical Director, Oshkosh Fire Department
Assessing Wisconsin Hospitals' Capacity to Treat Stroke
In the spring of 2014, the WSC surveyed hospitals to better understand stroke care capabilities across the state. National recommendations from the Brain Attack Coalition (BAC) suggest that EMS transport suspected stroke patients to the nearest stroke-certified facility. As of October 2014, 39 (30%) of Wisconsin’s 127 non-specialty hospitals were nationally certified as providing advanced stroke care. However, a new basic level of stroke care, Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital certification, became available through The Joint Commission in July 2015.
Based on the published guidelines for acute stroke-ready hospitals (ASRH), the WSC asked 88 non-stroke-certified hospitals to self-report the status of implementing ASRH elements. Hospitals identified whether individual guidelines were in place currently or would be within six months, could be developed with assistance, or would not be implemented. Sixty percent of hospitals responded to the survey. Although few hospitals had every recommendation in place, the majority were receptive to or had implemented ASRH recommendations. According to this self-reported data, non-specialty, non-stroke-certified hospitals in Wisconsin appear well-positioned to operationalize ASRH guidelines.
These organizations participate in stroke initiatives through the Wisconsin Stroke Coalition.
- American Heart Association (AHA)
- American Stroke Association (ASA)
- CDC Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry
- Medtronic Minimally Invasive Therapies
- MetaStar, Inc.
- Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC)
- Wisconsin EMS Association
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)
- Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA)
- Wisconsin Office of Rural Health (WI-ORH)
Jessica Link, Coverdell Program Director