And now that the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has been awarded $1,050,000 in federal grants there are more improvements to come.
The grant will be given over a three-year period from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is conditional on an annual performance review and will be used to:
- improve stroke victim transportation by emergency medical services personnel
- build information systems
- enhance stroke care by hospitals
- help make Arkansans more aware of ways to prevent stroke
By 2023, it is estimated that the total indirect and direct costs associated with strokes in Arkansas will be $1.19 billion if improvements are not made in the management of the diseases that cause strokes. The grant will go to the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Section of the ADH Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Branch.
Arkansas was one of 11 states to receive an award from the CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention's Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry. The award is the Coverdell award, named after the late U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell of Georgia, who suffered a fatal stroke in 2000 while serving in Congress.
"We are very pleased to be named a Coverdell state," said Dr. Namvar Zohoori, ADH Chronic Disease Branch director. "This funding will be used to assist our registry hospitals with saving lives and improving stroke outcomes in Arkansas."
The state's funding will be used to enhance the existing Arkansas Stroke Registry, a database built on information from participating hospitals such as patient emergency transport, diagnosis and treatment data. The registry uses the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines program to analyze and identify opportunities to assist hospitals in improving patient care while reducing stroke deaths and disability.
"This grant will help us improve patient emergency transport and care for stroke patients, from ambulance arrival at the scene to hospital arrival for patient treatment," said Greg Brown, ADH Emergency Medical Services (EMS) section chief. There are 205 different licensed EMS services across Arkansas which employ 6,674 EMS professionals.
Data received from the Arkansas Stroke Registry will be used to help increase public awareness of stroke warning signs and symptoms as well as the importance of calling 9-1-1.