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Donation Aims to Boost Stroke Care

Iowa is getting more than $9 million to improve its system of care for stroke patients, and to address staffing issues among public-health workers in rural areas. The money was donated by the Helmsley Charitable Trust, with six-million of it going to the (AHA) American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline Stroke initiative” across the state. The Heart Association’s Michelle Scharnott says the program strives to bring more coordination and efficiency to hospitals, first responders, rehabilitation centers and others when delivering this kind of care.

The association, which is also contributing funds, notes that stroke is among the leading causes of death in Iowa, with more than 14 hundred such cases in 2020. Helmsley is also granting three-million dollars in Iowa and two other states for AHA to launch its “HeartCorps” program. It involves adding public-health workers in rural settings, especially in counties that rank among the least healthy.

Officials say these workers can focus on helping people improve their cardiovascular health. As for streamlining stroke care, Helmsley trustee Walter Panzirer says it helps to ensure that patients return to their lives and their communities.

Previously, the philanthropic organization donated nearly five-million dollars for a similar AHA program in Iowa to address heart-attack care. And it recently provided funding for large trucks to travel to smaller Iowa communities, allowing rural health providers more access to training and equipment for general health-care needs.


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