Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Activities 

Working through community, health partners and government, the Arkansas Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Section strives to provide prevention programs in community, work site, and health care settings. Program activities include:

Arkansas Chronic Illness Collaborative

The Arkansas Chronic Illness Collaborative is dedicated to partnering with health care professionals in order to find ways to improve the management of chronic disease. The target audience for the Collaborative includes family physicians, pharmacists, nursing specialties, physician assistants and other health care professionals and clinical administrative staff. The Arkansas Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Section and the Arkansas Department of Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Section, the Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Inc., the Arkansas Geriatric Education Center and the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care collaborate to teach the Chronic Care Model to clinic teams statewide.  Clinic teams are eligible to apply for funding up to $9500.00 for participation in the Collaborative.  The Collaborative consists of three Learning Sessions and a congress over a 13-month period of time.  

Arkansas Wellness Coalition

The Arkansas Wellness Coalition (AWC) is a voluntary partnership of the health care and employer community to improve the health and well-being of all Arkansans through the use of nationally recognized, peer reviewed, clinical guidelines for physician, consumer, and employer education.

In 2011 the Arkansas Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Section worked with the Arkansas Wellness Coalition to send out a poster from the National Stroke Association: The Stroke Scorecard for use in waiting or exam rooms to alert patients of risk factors and warning signs and symptoms of stroke. If you are interested in receiving a copy, please contact the Section.

Other guidelines, enhancements and/or updates have included: obesity, colon cancer, adult immunization, diabetes, cholesterol, the JNC 7, kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

The Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Section offers six  1- hour continuing medical education sessions of Cardiovascular Health Updates during the year to health care professionals.  Credit is available for Physicians, APN’s, Pharmacists and other health professionals.  For information on upcoming interactive television sessions that are broadcast across the state in local health departments, hospitals, and other venues, contact the UAMS College of Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, CME Division staff or visit our website at www.cme.uams.edu.

Staff Directory
Allyson Cook
CME Associate
Alecia Hamilton

CME Associate
Hazel Redd

CME Associate
Shelley Brown
CME Associate
Chanda Duckery

Email dfpmcme@uams.edu for more information or to register for an upcoming program.

Delta States Stroke Network

The Delta States Stroke Network (DSSN) was a partnership of our five-states, coordinated by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. The DSSN brought together state agencies and their partners from thirty organizations to identify and address factors associated with the high mortality rate of stroke in the Delta region. States represented by the network were Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee - five of the eight southeastern states comprising the "stroke belt," where the stroke death rate is 1.5 times the national average.

  • Stroke is the #3 cause of death in the United States, and it continues to be a national health concern. Stroke is the 1st leading cause of death in Arkansas, the 3rd leading cause of death in the States of Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee, and the 5th leading cause of death in Mississippi. 
  • The DSSN developed a Consensus Statement, that was signed by the five State Health Officers of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. The purpose was to obtain consensus in order to collaborate, to the fullest extent possible and allowable, to implement projects and interventions to reduce the burden of stroke regionally.

Delta States Stroke Network

Acute Stroke Care Task Force for Arkansas

The Arkansas Acute Stroke Care Task Force was established through Act 663 during the regular session of the 85th General Assembly.  Act 663 designates twelve members to be appointed by the Director of the Arkansas Department of Health to the Task Force representing the following organizations and constituencies : Department of Health, American Heart Association, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, The Arkansas Hospital Association, Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, Division of Medical Services of the Department of Human Services, emergency medical services, Arkansas Medical Society, medical insurance industry, community at large and the Arkansas Medical, Dental and Pharmacy Association.

The Stroke Care Task Force is charged with coordinating statewide efforts to combat the debilitating effects of strokes on Arkansans, to improve health care for stroke victims and for other purposes.  The Task Force reports its recommendations annually to the Board of Health.
The Task Force meets the first Thursday of each month from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the American Heart Association Building, 909 West Second Street, Little Rock, AR.  Meetings are open to the public.

The Task Force has met since January 2007 and has completed the following tasks:    

  1. Completed a review of the stroke burden in Arkansas; 
  2. Reviewed existing model programs for acute stroke care; 
  3. Developed a conceptual framework for a model stroke program in the state, including prevention as well as acute care, rehabilitation care, and follow-up care; 
  4. Initiated discussions of the status of the current systems of stroke care in the state, including gaps in and barriers to making changes in the system; and 
  5. Reviewed existing sources of information about stroke care in the state, and began the process of identifying missing data elements. 
  6. Developing a stroke registry
  7. Conducting an Interim Study on Hypertension and stroke with the Public health and Welfare Committee of the state legislature

In completing these tasks, the members have heard from invited guests, such as the EMS/Trauma Section at the Department of Health and the Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support (SAVES) Program at the UAMS Center for Distance Health and Regional Hospital Programs. Staff from the American Heart Association keeps the task force informed about state and national legislative initiatives relating to stroke and members provide their expertise on stroke issues as representatives from their respective organizations.

Short term goals and recommendations include the following:

  1. Increase awareness of importance of stroke prevention and rapid response
  2. Improve skills of first-responders in identification of possible stroke and initiation of guideline-concordant care en route to hospital
  3. Promote availability of support for emergency department personnel throughout the state via telemedicine
  4. Assess existing capacity of hospitals in state to treat stroke patients

Long term goals and recommendations include the following:

  1. Develop stroke registry to monitor quality indicators of stroke care
  2. Promote the development of guideline-concordant care protocols in hospitals throughout the state

Small Steps, Great Strides Toward a Healthier Arkansas

A comprehensive plan for cardiovascular health (heart disease and stroke) in Arkansas

  • "Small Steps, Great Strides toward a Healthier Arkansas" is a comprehensive plan to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke in Arkansas 2001-2010, 1st Edition. This plan is the synergistic efforts of the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention’s Task Force. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the nation’s leading cause of death and a major cause of disability, costing the Arkansas economy over $1 billion in hospital charges in 2003. The intent of the State Plan is to provide the framework for moving forward in a new era of addressing heart disease and stroke in Arkansas. To view and download the State Plan, visit the Data Sources link or email us to request a hard copy.

EMS Stroke Scale

  • The HDSP Section partners with the Arkansas Department of Health’s Section of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to support the Los Angeles (LA) Stroke Scale.  The software used, incorporates data elements of the LA Stroke Scale into the Pre-Hospital Reports used by ambulance services licensed in Arkansas. Information collected from the updated system allows the Sections to analyze data and provide reports regarding stroke rates, care, 9-1-1 calls, and ambulance response times.  

Arkansas Stroke Registry

  • In 2009, the Arkansas Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Section received federal grant funding from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention, and state funding in 2010 through the Acute Stroke Care Task Force to develop and implement a statewide hospital-based stroke registry. The Arkansas Stroke Registry is 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® (GWTG) program to analyze and identify opportunities to assist hospitals in improving patient care while reducing stroke deaths and disability.   
  • Click here to see the hospitals participating in the Arkansas Stroke Registry.  

Media Campaigns

The Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Section conducts radio campaigns on heart and stroke warning signs and symptoms and “Know Your Numbers” annually, that runs statewide during February – American Heart Month; May – American Stroke Month and High Blood Pressure Education Month and June, to reach the largest number of the general public.  The goal is to increase their knowledge of heart attack and stroke warning signs and symptoms and to call 9-1-1; and to know their blood pressure and cholesterol.

In May 2011-American Stroke Month and High Blood Pressure Education Month and June, the HDSP Section conducted a radio campaign, “Don’t Let Salt Shake Up Your Health”, on public awareness of too much sodium in processed foods.  Unfortunately, many Arkansans are unaware of the importance of reducing sodium in their diets. Reducing sodium is one of the first steps to improve hypertension. The campaign ran for four weeks with a total of 304, 60-second spots with a net reach of 164,100 listeners hearing the message 9.1 times.

Million Hearts

Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are the co-leaders of Million Hearts within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working alongside other federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Food and Drug Administration. Key private-sector partners include the American Heart Association, and YMCA, among others.
For more information on Million Hearts, you may view this presentation or visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/