Accomplishments 

  • The DSSN developed an Interstate Regional Consensus Statement on Stroke to formalize the commitment of each of the states’ health departments to collaborate to implement projects and interventions that will reduce the burden of stroke in the region.
     
  • To identify gaps in access to stroke treatment, the DSSN developed a map of the certified primary stroke centers across the region. Stroke centers are medical facilities staffed by health care professionals with specific training in rapidly diagnosing and treating strokes.  The stroke centers identified on the DSSN map and listed on the accompanying chart received the Joint Commission's Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers, certifying that they follow the best practices established by the Brain Attack Coalition's “Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers.” 
     
  • In 2008, the DSSN collaborated with the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Hospital Association to fund the first telestroke project in Tennessee.  A key training partner for this project was Vanderbilt University. 
     
  • The DSSN provided funding to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport in 2009 for a new telestroke project targeting the lower six counties in Mississippi.  This was the first telestroke project in Mississippi.  If successful, this program will be used in other rural or underserved Mississippi counties where there is significant delay in transporting stroke patients to certified stroke centers. 
     
  • In 2010, the DSSN provided funding to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Bureau, Cardiovascular Health Branch for the development of a the first telestroke project to address the lack of access to Stroke Neurologists and availability of stroke certified hospitals in rural Alabama, where significant delay in transporting stroke patients has been identified.  
     
  • The DSSN published “Legislative Policy Briefs” highlighting the burden of stroke, summarizing best practice strategies currently in place to improve stroke systems of care and describing recommendations for implementation of these strategies.  The briefs are designed for use with legislators to help implement policy changes to improve stroke systems of care.  
     
  • The DSSN published an Executive Report encompassing a summary of the projects and activities supported by and directed by the DSSN. The report includes a chapter from each of the workgroups, providing targeted recommendations to guide regional and state interventions to reduce the burden of stroke.  
     
  •  The DSSN is developed a “Stroke Awareness and Education Toolkit for Healthcare Providers.” This electronic toolkit is designed to increase professional awareness and knowledge of stroke, including risk factors, signs and symptoms, triage and diagnosis, protocols for treatment, rehabilitation options, patient quality of care issues, and stroke prevention.  The toolkit also includes resources for online professional education. An additional section on patient education covers health literacy issues and resources for special populations. CD copies of the DSSN’s Stroke Awareness and Education Toolkit for Healthcare Providers are available in limited quantities in each State Health Department, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program in the DSSN region, in addition to being available for download on this website by clicking the link above.  
  • The DSSN is publishing an updated report on the burden of stroke in the 5-state region.  The 2010 Burden Document will be distributed to each State Health Department, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program in the DSSN region and will be available on the DSSN website no later than December 2010. 
     
  • DSSN is conducting a hospital stroke survey across the region.  Each State Health Department, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program in the DSSN region will receive copies of the DSSN Hospital Stroke Survey, and the summary report will be available on the DSSN website no later than December 2010.