Optimizing Outcomes of Stroke Survivors

Establishing the Stroke Rehabilitation Center of Southeastern Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Optimizing Functional Outcomes of Stroke Survivors Through Translational ResearchPrincipal Investigator:Diane Braza, MD, Physical Medicine and RehabilitationCo-Investigator:John R. McGuire, MD, Physical Medicine and RehabilitationAward Amount:$1,003,673
Award Date
December2015
Project Duration:78 months

Project Description Narrative:


While significant progress has been made in preventing strokes, fewer resources have been committed to improving rehabilitation for stroke survivors, who face significant barriers to recovering mobility and communication skills after neurologic stroke damage.

While some survivors recovery fully, the majority live with chronic post-stroke deficits, which can involve motor skills, speech, thinking, memory, personality and emotional dysregulation. The temporary or permanent loss of independence due to stroke impacts families in addition to survivors.

Through this award, partners aim to improve functional outcomes for stroke survivors by creating the Stroke Rehabilitation Center of Southeastern Wisconsin, which will advance translational research in the region.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


  • Established core infrastructure to support the Stroke Rehabilitation Center of Southeastern Wisconsin
  • Launched the Stroke Survivor Recruitment Database (SSRD), which was instrumental in connecting stroke survivors to new and ongoing research efforts and promises long-term sustainability
  • Facilitated stroke rehabilitation clinical translational research across institutions and MCW departments
  • Engaged stroke survivors and caregivers in research to help investigators better understand how proposed methods might fit the demands and stress experienced by patients and families after a stroke occurs and worked with community members with lived experience is an innovative approach that will make sure new ideas are as implementable in practice as they are in laboratories
  • Developed a Functional Outcome Measures Toolkit and established a collaboration with St. Ann's Center-Bucyrus Campus to pilot the toolkit in an urban community clinical setting

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