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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A national philanthropy organization has awarded the state $9.3 million to improve stroke care for Iowans and to launch a public health workforce initiative in rural parts of Iowa.
The grants from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust was announced by the American Heart Association during a Thursday news conference at the Iowa State Capitol.
The first $6.3 million grant will help fund the statewide American Heart Association initiative -- which overall totals $7.5 million -- called “Mission: Lifeline Stroke.” First launched in 2010, the project aims to identify issues that may slow care for heart attack and stroke patients.
The money will pay for public service campaigns and improve coordination between emergency medical services and stroke centers. A statewide data system will monitor patient care and long-term stroke outcomes, according to a news release from the American Heart Association.
“The Mission: Lifeline Stroke initiative will help us better coordinate stroke care from the time of onset to treatment,” said Dr. Enrique Leira, co-chairman of the Iowa Stroke Task Force and head of the University of Iowa Health Care Comprehensive Stroke Center.
“Stroke treatment is time-sensitive, so getting patients the proper treatment faster, is crucial,” Leira said. “This investment is going to be particularly impactful in decreasing the unacceptable disparity in stroke care we are currently experiencing in rural states like Iowa.”
In 2015, the Helmsley Charitable Trust granted the state $4.6 million to launch the Mission: Lifeline project. At the time, the initiative was focused on cases of ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction, or STEMI, which is the most serious type of heart attack.
The Helmsley Charitable Trust also is providing a $3 million to the American Heart Association to launch HeartCorps in three states -- Iowa, Minnesota and Wyoming.
The program aims to place 100 public health workers in counties that rank the lowest in health during the three years of the Public Health AmeriCorps program.
The goal is to implement systems that reduce cardiovascular risks and outcomes for rural residents.
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