Inside Philanthropy Looks at The Helmsley Charitable Trust Work to Improve Stroke Outcomes in Rural America
Residents of rural areas may love the peace and quiet, but when they need emergency medical care—say, for a stroke—all that wide open space may work against them: They're that much further from a hospital. Larger, more sparsely populated states can have a tough time maintaining advanced care centers sufficiently close to everyone, and philanthropic dollars can be hard to come by, as well.
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is one foundation that keeps the healthcare needs of rural communities in mind, particularly in the upper Midwest. A recent example is the three-year, $6.5 million grant out of its Rural Healthcare Program to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the Mission: Lifeline Stroke initiative to expand and enhance stroke care in Nebraska.
Mission: Lifeline Stroke will build upon the gains achieved by the existing Nebraska Stroke Advisory Council (NSAC), further strengthening the collaboration with stakeholders across the state representing hospitals, individual ambulance services, the Nebraska Department of Health, and others. The project will enhance many critical elements of an optimal stroke system of care, including: a system-wide data tool to assess protocols used throughout the continuum of care, coordination of treatment guidelines for EMS and hospital personnel, local plans for rapid transport of stroke patients, and more, including a public education campaign focused on recognition of stroke signs and symptoms and the need to activate the 911 system...