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Georgetown leads major effort to combat disparities in DC stroke care
Date:10/24/2007

Washington, D.C.More than three quarters of adults living in the District of Columbia have at least one risk factor for stroke, but those who are poor do not receive the same level of care as their wealthier counterparts. In an effort to address these disparities in stroke prevention, diagnosis and treatment in D.C., the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has awarded Georgetown University Medical Center a $10 million cooperative research grant. Chelsea Kidwell, MD, associate professor of neurology at Georgetown, is the principal investigator for the grant, which will involve physicians and scientists from twenty other institutions, including GUMCs clinical partner, Georgetown University Hospital, owned by MedStar Health.

We know that the type of stroke care people get in the United States depends at least in part on their race and socioeconomic status, said Kidwell, who directs both the Georgetown Stroke Center and the Washington Hospital Center Stroke Center. What better place to attempt to reduce these disparities than in the nations capital, where so many patients are coming from medically underserved communities"

Kidwell will oversee three research projects addressing key areas of disparities in stroke care in Washington, D.C. hospitals:

  • Project ASPIRE (Acute Stroke Program of Interventions Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities) will investigate whether a multi-level intervention can significantly increase the number of ischemic stroke patients appropriately treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) (clot-busting medication) in D.C. hospitals. If administered within a certain time window, tPA is highly effective at dissolving the blood clots that cause strokes and improving clinical outcomes, said Kidwell, but it is typically delivered to less than 3 percent of patients. Kidwell wants to study the barriers to utilizing this treatment in District hospitals. Amie Hsia
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Contact: Becky Wexler
rjw43@georgetown.edu
202-687-5100
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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