September 11, 2012
Stephanie Smiley, 608-266-1683

State Launches Stroke Care Improvement Initiative With the American Heart, American Stroke Association

Wisconsin to receive $1 million in federal funding over three years; one of 11 states to receive funding

MADISON-State health officials and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) today announced a $1 million federally funded statewide initiative to improve survival and decrease disability from stroke.

Wisconsin is one of 11 states to receive the funding over the next three years to participate in the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry program, a model shown to enhance Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response and hospital-based treatment for individuals experiencing acute stroke. This is the first time Wisconsin has been selected to participate in the registry, which helps stroke centers compare and enhance the quality of their stroke care relative to national and regional benchmarks. The project is named after the late U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell of Georgia who suffered a fatal stroke in 2000 while serving in Congress.

"Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a major cause of long-term disability in our state," said Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer. "The Coverdell Stroke Registry is an opportunity to expand the rapid-response, state-of-the-art stroke care that is saving lives every day in Wisconsin."

"This award will help improve stroke care throughout Wisconsin and across the continuum of care - from the call to 9-1-1 through emergency treatment and rehabilitation," said American Stroke Association volunteer neurologist Dr. Justin A. Sattin, medical director of the UW Health Comprehensive Stroke Program and chair of the Wisconsin Stroke Committee. "This effort brings together the critical stakeholders and technical support to improve the consistency of stroke care and reduce the burden of stroke-related disability."

In addition to DHS and AHA/ASA, the collaboration will include the Wisconsin Stroke Committee, DHS Emergency Medical Services and a healthcare quality improvement organization. The program will work with 20 hospitals certified as Primary Stroke Centers and EMS providers that service these areas. Stroke teams will use the ASA's "Get With The Guidelines-Stroke" online tracking tool to monitor their performance. EMS providers will enhance their procedures based on data analysis in the Wisconsin Ambulance Run Data System (WARDS).

Collaborators will assist with quality improvement plans and coordinate educational events to help stroke and EMS teams share progress and best practices. The Wisconsin Stroke Committee, a multi-disciplinary group of neurologists, emergency physicians, nurses and professional associations, will collaborate on recommending a statewide stroke system of care and will share the project's results statewide.

In 2001, Congress charged the CDC with implementing state-based registries that measure, track, and improve the delivery and quality of stroke care.

For information about stroke prevention:

For information about the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association: