Illinois Stroke Legislation, House Bill (HB)2244:
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.
Emergent Stroke Ready Hospitals (ESRH)-hospitals that diagnose, treat, and transport acute stroke patients to a higher level of care as warranted, will likely be located throughout the state. ESRHs must regularly attest to Illinois Department of Public Health their continued compliance with the required ESRH criteria and must comply with these criteria 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. ESRH designation assures our smaller IL communities they have access to the best possible acute stroke care with the option of immediate transport to the closest Primary Stroke Center for specialized in-patient and rehabilitative care.
Illinois State Stroke Advisory Sub-committee: HB 2244 established the State Stroke Advisory Sub-committee reporting to the Governor-appointed State EMS Advisory Council. Members are appointed by the state and serve a two year term. The sub-committee, chaired by Dr. Cheryl Colbensen, EMS Region 2 Medical Director, meets several times a year. All meetings are open to the general public and meeting minutes are posted on the IDPH web site.
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