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Stroke Care 2.0

Stroke care needs innovation and evolution—the 2020 Nebraska Mission: Lifeline Rural Stroke Innovators Grant is the first step.

Funding the Future of Rural Stroke Care

The next phase of stroke care in Nebraska is upon us—great thinkers in the medicine world can get support for their efforts from Nebraska Mission: Lifeline. At the Stroke Innovators Summit, we will bring together industry, academia, and the investment community to have collaborative discussions on rural stroke care in Nebraska. The Stroke Innovators grant will make positive impacts on stroke outcomes for rural stroke patients by funding projects impacting rehabilitation and improving outcomes.

Meet our Improving Outcomes Grant Winner:

Nebraska Stroke Association Board

With their winning grant funds, they will develop a “Go-To” repository of resources through an interactive website.  They will also provide support videos and quarterly live-stream presentations by practitioners.

Contact Information:
Chuck Bacus

Meet our Impacting Rehabilitation Winner:

University of Nebraska, Division of Physical Education, College of Allied Health Profession

With their winning grant funds, they will support creation of “Tele-teams” that will connect stroke survivors and caregivers with interprofessional groups of students from the three University of Nebraska campuses. This grant is expected to have a two-fold benefit. First, it will provide support to stroke survivors and caregivers, and secondly, students will learn team-based telehealth skills, as well as insight into the lived experience of stroke. 

Contact Information:
Teresa Cochran

Meet Our Worthy Grant Applicant: 

Andrew McCarty
Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings, Nebraska

Project Description: Mary Lanning currently has an outpatient stroke follow-up clinic. Their project would expand their current outpatient stroke services to surrounding communities. Through the existing clinic, they have seen greater medication adherence, compliance of care and patient satisfaction. Because of the lack of neurology and resources in Critical Access Hospitals, there has been a growing need for appropriate follow-up for stroke patients in rural areas. This grant would allow them to have a formalized plan to accept these patients and provide telemedicine support to Critical Access Hospitals.

Contact Information:
Andrew McCarty 
Mary Lanning Healthcare

Meet Our Worthy Grant Applicant: 

Dr. Marco Gonzalez Castellon
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Project Description: This project would develop and implement a web application to provide Emergency Department providers with a mechanism to visually view the real-time progress, assessment and management of the acute stroke patient, starting with the arrival of the patient in the ED through all treatment decisions.  The app would be piloted with a hospital in a rural community to study the effectiveness of real-time feedback in improving stroke treatment times for thrombolytics.

Contact Information:
Marco Gonzalez Castellon
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medicine

Meet Our Worthy Grant Applicant: 

Delaney Shuttler
University of South Dakota, Department of Health Services Administration

Project Description: An exclusive agreement with the inventor of a patent-pending stroke rehabilitation exo-skeletal suit will allow this student organization to design a web-based, neuromuscular re-education program for stroke patients in Nebraska.  The rehabilitative tool, coupled with a web-based neuromuscular re-education program, will offer aid to stroke patients to rehabilitate from home.  Their rehabilitative suit and accompanying program would help stroke patients recover faster by continuing with their therapeutic exercises outside of the rehabilitation center.

Contact Information:
Delaney Shuttler, Student
Carole South-Winter, Professor
University of South Dakota

Meet Our Worthy Grant Applicant: 

Melissa Griffith
CHI Health St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island, Nebraska

Project Description: The grant would allow St. Francis to purchase a Bioness BITS, which is an interactive therapy tool serving a vast array of patient populations, including strokes.  The BITS machine addresses balance, coordination, visual spacing and sequencing, along with cognitive processing.  The BITS machine will significantly impact Stroke Rehabilitation for rural patients by giving them accessibility to state-of-the-art healthcare in Western Nebraska.  St. Francis would be the pilot hospital for CHI Health to replicate at other hospitals in the system.

Contact Information:
Melissa Griffith 
CHI Health - Saint Francis Medical Center


Keynote - QLI Smart Coach

A specialized rehabilitation program is essential to achieving the best possible long-term recovery. Combining industry-leading expertise and cutting-edge technology, QLI Telerehabilitation takes a practical approach to real-world therapy. 


Our team is ready to support your efforts in stroke-care innovation. If you have questions about the Innovators Grant, let us know! Email your full name, email address and comments to

About Mission: Lifeline

Mission: Lifeline serves as AHA’s nationwide initiative aimed at transforming stroke care through evidence-based improvements and system-wide needs.