Illinois Stroke Systems of Care

Updated:Nov 15,2016


Policy Updates

P.A. 98-1001, effective January 1, 2015, updates the 2009 Primary Stroke Center Law via provisions recommended by the official State Stroke Advisory Committee: 

  • Allows the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to designate hospitals as Comprehensive Stroke Centers, a designation that did not exist when the 2009 PSC Law passed
  • Changes IDPH’s current use of “Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital” terminology to match the newer and nationally accepted “Acute Stroke Ready Hospital” terminology
  • Allows Emergent Stroke Ready/Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals to receive IDPH designation based on either the current process of self-attestation, or via proof of national certification as Acute Stroke Ready (such certification didn’t exist when the 2009 Primary Stroke Center Law was passed)
  • Authorizes IDPH to collect a stroke center designation fee of between $100 – $500 from all CSC’s, PSC’s, and ASRH’s

The funds collected would be used to administer a state stroke registry, a key quality improvement tool, and for other IDPH stroke-related initiatives. When a stroke occurs, time loss is brain loss: the greater the delay between stroke symptom onset and the receipt of medical treatment, the greater the risk of serious patient death and disability.

On May 19, 2009 the General Assembly unanimously approved HB 2244, allowing the creation of regional stroke systems of care in Illinois. This landmark legislation allows the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to designate hospitals as stroke centers and directs EMS personnel to transport suspected acute stroke patients to designated specialty stroke centers. The Illinois legislation recognizes two levels of specialized stroke care, Primary Stroke Centers certified by The Joint Commission and other nationally certifying bodies and state designated “Emergent Stroke Ready” hospitals.


  • HB 5742 passed both chambers and was signed into law in August, 2014. An update to the administrative code was necessary to reflect the new law, that update comes in the form of rules via the Joint Commission on Administrative Rule. The State Stroke Advisory Subcommittee wrote the rules in collaboration with IDPH.
  • The Stroke Rules were unanimously approved by the JCAR at an April 12 hearing. The final draft reflects the updates and minor changes made after the initial public comment period.
  • The updated rules, published in the Illinois Register (PDF) on 6/17, beginning on page 23:
  • Next steps: new state stroke center designation applications will be made available, IDPH will collect fees from new designations and begin the process for creating a registry.
  • What this means for you: hospitals will soon be able to apply for the new designations; your respective Regional Stroke Advisory Subcommittee, if they are not already, should be meeting to update protocols in recognition of three tiers of stroke care and to reflect the capabilities and best interests of your specific EMS Region. Regions differ drastically around the state, it is imperative that any triage and transport protocols are established locally.
Contact Julie Mirostaw, Government Relations Director, American Heart Association at 773-885-3650 or at with any questions.

Patient and Community Resources
Stroke Resources Get With the Guidelines - StrokeEducation
Stroke Resources    
EMS Resources          Patient & Consumer Education Resources      Stakeholders

  1. ICAHN Map (PDF)
  2. ICAHN Stroke Resource Library
  3. 2013 International Stroke Conference Presentation (PDF)
Quality & Systems Improvement Upcoming Events 

For more information:

Kathleen O'Neill, MHA
Regional Vice President
Quality & Systems Improvement
American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate
208 S. LaSalle Street Suite 1500
Chicago, IL  60604
(312) 476-6622

Julie Mirostaw
Government Relations Director
American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate
208 S LaSalle, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 476-6657

Renee M. Sednew, MPH
Program Manager - IL Stroke
Quality & Systems Improvement
American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate
208 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 476-6661