State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) presented country music legend Randy Travis with a resolution recently to recognize the singer songwriter for his many contributions to country music and his continued support for stroke research and awareness. The presentation occurred at "1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time.: A Heroes and Friends Tribute to Randy Travis" at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
The Tribute featured appearances by CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks, Alabama, Kenny Rogers, Chris Young, Wynonna Judd, Travis Tritt, and many more. A portion of the proceeds raised will go to the Randy Travis Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to raise money for stroke research and rehabilitation.
Travis suffered a massive stoke in 2013. Afterwards, he was given only a one to two percent chance of survival.
The presentation also came after Ketron hosted Travis at a meeting of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee where the country music legend and his wife, Mary, came in support of the efforts of the Stroke Registry Task Force. The task force was set up through legislation sponsored by the Murfreesboro lawmaker.
"Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in Tennessee, so this is a huge health concern for our state," said Senator Ketron. "I an very pleased with the progress being made by our new Stroke Registry Task Force in recommending a robust system of care in place to treat these patients which begins with education at the community level, and extends through our first responders, our hospitals and post-care rehabilitation. Tennessee is very blessed to have many gifted physicians and I believe, as a result of their work, our state will be a leader in the care of stroke patients in the near future."
"Expediting care is a vital aspect to caring for stroke patients and preventing permanent damage," said Mrs. Travis. "Randy stared death in the face and death blinked. That's why we are here today."
The task force's recommendations include:
- A Stroke Advisory Task Force made up of experts and key stakeholders to develop and recommend rules and regulations and report to health care facilities and emergency medical services boards to improve health outcomes;
- Mandatory submission of data to the Stroke Registry housed at East Tennessee State University's (ETSU) College of Public Health to further analyze the disease and best practices of care;
- State-sanctioned designation of stroke centers denoting their readiness to accept and treat acute care patients, including a level one algorithm for comprehensive stroke centers, level two for primary stroke centers and level three for acute stroke-ready hospitals; and
- Standardized destination guidelines for EMS personnel when transporting and identifying stroke patients in the field.
The standardized guidelines for EMS providers will help ensure that acute stroke patients are transported to centers that have endovascular clot retrieval capability which has proven most effective in treating patients with ischemic strokes caused by an emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO).
Tennessee currently has 34 stroke centers. There are six comprehensive stroke centers, 27 primary stroke centers and one acute stroke-ready hospital across the state.