First-Ever NECC Stroke Tank: ‘Pitch it to the Judges!’ yields winners from Boston

The 12th Annual Summit of the NorthEast Cerebrovascular Consortium (NECC) took place last week, on October 26 and 27 at the Newport Marriott in Newport, Rhode Island. This year at the two-day cerebrovascular educational event hosted by the NECC in conjunction with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA), summit leaders introduced a new segment called Stroke Tank: Pitch it to the Judges! ™, a play off the hit ABC television show “Shark Tank.”

Five NECC Mini-Grant recipients received funding for projects designed to impact care surrounding the triage and treatment of patients with large vessel occlusions, the most severe type of stroke. Each research team was invited back to pitch their proposed research to a panel of expert judges, with the winning pitch receiving additional funding from the NECC.  The presenting proposals included:

WINNERS, first place! Pre-hospital triage decisions for patients with suspected stroke due to severe large vessel occlusion stroke: A decision analytic modeling cost-effectiveness study

  • Kori Sauser Zachrison, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Patrick Eschenfeldt, PhD; MGH Institute for Technology Assessment
  • Ayman Ali, BS; MGH Institute for Technology Assessment
  • Chin Hur, MD, MPH; MGH Department of Medicine and MGH Institute for Technology Assessment
  • Mentor: Judith Lichtman, PhD, FAHA- Associate Professor & Chair, Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT

Winner, runner up! Tele-stroke prehospital assessment and routing

  • Ethan Brandler, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Stony Brook Medicine
  • David Fiorella, MD, PhD, Stony Brook Medicine, Department of Neurological Surgery and Radiology
  • Mentor: Timothy G. Lukovits, MD- Medical Director, NH Stroke Collaborative, Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke Program, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH

Enhanced medical control in the prehospital triage of patients with a suspected severe stroke

  • Curtis Benesch, MD, MPH, Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Department of Neurology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Jeremy Cushman, MD, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Bryan Gargano, MD, Rochester Regional Health, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Mentor: Toby Gropen, MD, Professor, Division Director, Cerebrovascular Disease, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL

Diversion of suspected stroke victims through EMS intervention (DRIVE)

  • Brian Silver, MD, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Neurology, UMass Memorial Medical Center
  • Bruce Barton, PhD, Director, Quantitative Methods Core, Professor, Division of Biostatistics, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Dora M. Dumont, PhD, MPH, Senior Public Health Epidemiologist, Division of Community Health and Equity, Rhode Island Department of Health

Mentor: Seemant Chaturvedi, MD, FAHA, FAAN- Professor of Clinical Neurology, Vice-Chair for VA Programs, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

Predicting Cerebral Large Vessel Occlusion Through Non- Invasive Oximetry

  • Hamza Shaikh, MD, Co-Director of Neurointerventional Surgery Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology, Department of Neurosurgery, Radiology and Neurology, Cooper University Hospital
  • Tapan Kavi, MD, Director of Neurocritical Care, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurosurgery, Radiology, and Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ
  • Mentor: Charles Wira, MD, Immediate Past-Chair, The NECC Departments, Emergency Medicine and Neurology Yale Acute Stroke Program Yale-New Haven Hospital Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine, New Haven, CT

The winning pitch, titled, “Pre-hospital triage decisions for patients with suspected stroke due to severe large vessel occlusion stroke: A decision analytic modeling cost-effectiveness study,” received an additional $10,000 in funding from the NECC. This additional funding will go to further the team’s research utilizing the mathematical model and mobile application they created to help emergency medical technicians (EMTs) determine which hospital they should transport a suspected stroke patient to, based on a series of questions the EMTs answer as well as their location.

The pitch that won second place, titled, “Tele-stroke prehospital assessment and routing,” received an additional $5,000 in funding. The research uses teleconferencing technology available on regular smartphones to allow emergency physicians to examine potential stroke patients remotely.  This teleconference-based assessment will help to determine the presence of large strokes, which may require a comprehensive stroke center and identify other conditions requiring emergent intervention.  Physicians will be able to remotely start some treatments and identify the nearest and most appropriate hospital for the patients’ condition.

In total, the NECC summit attracted over 400 stroke professionals from across the eight northeastern states and across the stroke continuum of care. Professionals heard from experts in the field, discussed best practices, regional challenges and more, and the NECC and AHA/ASA presented awards recognizing experts in the stroke field. For more information on the summit visit Connect with The NECC on Facebook and Twitter: #TheNECC.

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