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Lee Schwamm, A Dedicated Advocate

Dr. Lee Schwamm has been a dedicated advocate for the creation of a stroke system of care in Massachusetts

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Dr. Lee Schwamm is a passionate advocate for our stroke system of care legislation and has shared his perspective with key legislative committees and leadership.

"I am a stroke expert and practicing stroke neurologist, a longtime stroke neurologist and pioneer in the area of stroke systems of care, including as the Director of the newly Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center at MGH, the stroke systems consultant to the MA DPH and the stroke advisor to the Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry grant, and as the volunteer Chair of several relevant national committees of the American Heart Association including the Hospital Accreditation Science Committee, Mission-Lifeline Stroke Committee, and the Get With the Guidelines-Stroke Workgroup and Quality Oversight Committee. In all these capacities, I have seen Massachusetts transition from a recognized leader in the arena of acute stroke care when we enacted regulatory changes in 2005 to create a statewide Primary Stroke Service program to a laggard as we failed to adequately enforce existing regulations or stay in tune with the evolving 3-tiered approach to stroke care sweeping the country. Over the past several years the DPH has been struggling to manage a series of extremely challenging issues and the result of these strained resources has been a lack of ability to effectively implement a stroke system of care in MA to respond to the new evidence of extraordinary benefit of endovascular thrombectomy for major strokes. To ensure that every patient in MA has adequate access to the life-saving benefits of mechanical catheter-based clot retrieval (similar in many ways to angioplasty and stenting for major heart attacks), we must enact a multi-tiered system of stroke designation with appropriate prehospital routing of patients."

Recently Dr. Schwamm took time to meet with members of legislative leadership to explain the legislation and the critical need for them to act quickly. Having his expertise along with other neurologists and survivors will make the difference on the success of this bill.

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