American Heart Association logo American Stroke Association

Montana Mission: Lifeline® Stoke

two EMTs rushing a patient into an ambulance

What is Mission: Lifeline® Stroke?

Mission: Lifeline Stroke is a program for transforming stroke care by focusing efforts on connecting all of the components of acute stroke care into a smoothly integrated system that reinforces use of evidence-based guidelines, measures performance, identifies gaps, and engages in improvement projects at a systems level. The stroke system of care begins with community recognition and preparedness to identify stroke and continues all the way through hospital discharge, into rehabilitation and the initiation of secondary prevention. It brings together hospitals, ambulance services, non-transport medical first response agencies, emergency communications centers, emergency medical service regulatory and medical direction agencies, local government, local media, and payers to forge a proactive system of stroke care that saves and improves lives.

The Goal:

Mission: Lifeline Stroke will build upon the gains achieved by the existing Montana Stroke Initiative by further strengthening the collaboration with stakeholders across the state representing hospitals, individual ambulance services, the Montana Department of Health and Human Services and others. The project will enhance many critical elements of an optimal stroke system of care, including:

  • A system-wide data tool to assess stroke care used throughout the continuum of care.
  • Coordination of treatment guidelines for EMS and hospital personnel.
  • Local plans for rapid transport and/or inter-facility transfer of stroke patients.
  • Strategies for reducing barriers to access and quality of telemedicine and rehab care.
  • A survivor to survivor support network will be deployed.
  • A public education campaign focused on recognition of stroke signs and symptoms and the need to activate the 9-1-1 system.
  • Ongoing clinical education and sharing of best practices.
  • Recruitment of stroke rehab champions to create and help implement consistent discharge and treatment protocols as well as participate in quality improvement and training measures.

Funding The Mission:

On September 16, 2020, the American Heart Association announced more than $4.8 million in funding to launch Montana’s Mission: Lifeline Stroke initiative.

The American Heart Association with support from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is launching Mission: Lifeline Stroke in Montana. Mission: Lifeline Stroke focuses on connecting all the components of acute stroke care into a smoothly integrated system that reinforces the use of evidence-based guidelines to timely and effectively treat stroke patients. The goals of Mission: Lifeline Stroke can only be accomplished through collaborative efforts among the many and varied stakeholders that meet the needs of stroke patients throughout the continuum of care – beginning with system activation at symptom onset through each component of the healthcare system including rehabilitative care.

Funding is available for each Montana hospital to participate in Mission: Lifeline Stroke.

As part of the grant you must participate in the statewide Montana Stroke Initiative and workgroup sub-committees, stroke data entry, a stroke registry platforms (if applicable), and you w will be required to develop at least two community-based public awareness activities before the end of the grant (funds can be used to support or offset costs).

Post-Acute Care Initiative

We at the American Heart Association are continually striving to improve the lives of those who have suffered strokes.

In partnership with The Helmsley Charitable Trust, we are excited to launch the Mission: Lifeline Stroke Montana - Post-Acute Care Initiative. The aim of this initiative is to equitably increase stroke patient’s access to high-quality post-acute care that can improve and prolong their lives. As a foundational step towards this goal, the AHA developed quality standards for post-stroke recovery, rehabilitation and secondary prevention and now seek to validate those standards among facilities in Montana.

Contact Us

Joani Guzman

Quality Systems Manager
Mission: Lifeline Montana
American Heart Association
Billings, MT 59102
(406) 671-1640

Janna Pietrzak

Quality Systems Manager -
Mission: Lifeline Stroke Montana, Post-Acute Care
(701) 730-3305

Gary W. Myers, MS

National Sr. Program Manager
Quality, Outcomes, Research and Analytics (QORA)
(605) 675-9446