The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association have announced a statewide commitment of $6.5 million for its Mission: Lifeline Stroke initiative to expand and enhance stroke care in Nebraska.
The foundation of this new initiative is a three-year grant of $5.35 million from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
Mission: Lifeline is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Associations’ community-based initiative to develop systems of care to improve outcomes for heart attack and stroke patients. These systems bring together hospitals, emergency medical services and first responders, communications and regulatory agencies, state and local government and payers to provide a seamless plan of action to treat patients from time of symptom onset through their rehabilitation and recovery process.
“Through the ongoing commitment from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, we are directly impacting the lives of all Nebraskans and for this I am very grateful,” said James Bobenhouse, MD, a neurologist and stroke medical director at CHI Saint Elizabeth’s and Bryan Health. “The Mission: Lifeline Stroke initiative will help us better coordinate stroke care, which will mean better outcomes for patients and more lives saved. Stroke treatment is time-sensitive, so getting patients proper treatment faster, especially in rural areas, is crucial,” Bobenhouse added.
Mission Lifeline: Stroke will build upon the gains achieved by the existing Nebraska Stroke Advisory Council (NSAC) by further strengthening the collaboration with stakeholders across the state representing hospitals, individual ambulance services, the Nebraska Department of Health and others. The project will enhance many critical elements of an optimal stroke system of care, including:
- A system-wide data tool to assess protocols used through the continuum of care
- Coordination of treatment guidelines for EMS and hospital personnel
- Peer-to-peer stroke survivor support network
- Local plans for rapid transports and/or inter-facility transfer of stoke patients
- Strategies for reducing barriers to access and quality of medicine and rehab care; and
- A public education campaign focused on recognition of stoke signs and symptoms and the need to activate the 9-1-1
Survivor and American Heart Association volunteer, Jill Duis, knows first-hand the importance of time. Suffering a stroke in 1999, Duis is grateful for programs like Mission: Lifeline Stroke. “Programs like Mission: Lifeline will save lives all across Nebraska. If it weren’t for the care and the timing of the care I received, I might not be here today,” reflected Duis.