February 03, 2005

Crapo: Stop Stroke Act Benefits Patients, Telehealth Providers

Measure would increase awareness and prevention of heart stroke

Washington, DC -Idaho Senator Mike Crapo recently signed on as a co-sponsor of the STOP Stroke Act, a bill that authorizes four new programs to increase awareness and prevention of heart stroke. The bill, S. 1274, also provides a grant program to educate medical professionals about newly-developed diagnostic technologies like telehealth, presenting a unique opportunity for Idaho residents.â??In addition to addressing the need for increased awareness of heart stroke, this bill generates opportunity for more efficient diagnosis throughout rural communities like those in Idaho,â?? Crapo said. â??Because time is crucial in the treatment of stroke, this bill encourages telehealth technologies and the usage of available electronic resources to shorten the time patients have to wait to receive treatment.â??The bill, introduced by Senator Thad Cochran (R- Mississippi), is a bipartisan effort. The first of its four programs would create a state grant program to help states ensure that all patients have access to quality stroke care. The second would authorize a national public awareness campaign to educate the public about stroke warning signs and how stroke can be prevented. A third program would create a registry and clearinghouse to collect data and share treatment practices. The final program would provide grants to educate medical professionals in newly developed diagnostic approaches, technologies and therapies.This legislation correlates with telehealth, a procedure allowing doctors to diagnose and treat patients through various electronic mediums. Telehealth provides access to the best available physicians for rural residents throughout the United States. Through this program, physicians can use resources such as the internet or video teleconferencing to delegate appropriate treatment to patients. Telehealth facilities are eligible to apply for grants under the Stop Stroke Act. Crapo, who recently helped to kick-off National Menâ??s Health Week, has been an advocate on health issues in the U.S. Senate since his successful bout with prostate cancer in January 2000. He is the sponsor of S. 1028, the Men's Health Act of 2003, a bill to form an Office of Menâ??s Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. Crapo is a founding member of the recently formed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Caucus. He also serves as co-Chair of the Congressional Heart-Stroke Caucus. Crapo has sponsored the Mike Crapo Health Awareness Booths at four regional fairs in Idaho for the last three years and is also the recipient of the National Prostate Cancer Coalitionâ??s 2003 William A. Schwartz Distinguished Leadership Award.# # #