Optimizing Outcomes of Stroke Survivors

Establishing the Stroke Research Center of Southeastern Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Optimizing Functional Outcomes of Stroke Survivors Through Translational ResearchPrinciple 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:60 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 Research Center of Southeastern Wisconsin, which will advance translational research in the region.

Project Updates:


• Established core infrastructure to support new Stroke Research Center of Southeastern Wisconsin

• Developed new, cross-disciplinary research collaborations that include the engagement of community members with lived experience in a collaborative environment with researchers and clinicians, facilitating real-time, two-way communication opportunities

• 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. Working 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.

• Launched Stroke Survivor Recruitment Database, which currently has 41 stroke survivors enrolled (52% enrollment rate)

• 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. All pilot projects have been IRB approved and are actively enrolling subjects.

• Completed two projects through Center's Community Academic Advisory Board (CAAB), providing recommendations to make the information booklet sent home with discharged stroke survivors and inpatient rehabilitation more user friendly, and providing input to biomechanical engineers to design a wearable device that will help stroke survivors sense where their affected limb is in space

• Issued a call for proposals in clinical translational stroke rehabilitation research to fund two one-year projects at $50,000 each

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