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Evolving Stroke Awareness for Over 25 Years

Stroke Milestones

The past 25 years have brought many important events in the world of stroke. Learn more about everything National Stroke Association and others have been doing to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke. 

1980s | 1984 | 1986 | 1987 | 1989 | 1996 | 1998 | 1999 | 2001 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009


  • Cerebrovascular disease diagnosis improves by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
  • Risk of stroke reduces effectively through new antiplatelet agents. 
  • Reducing stroke risk factors in women and minorities receives increased attention.



  •  The Ohio Valley Chapter receives charter as National Stroke Association’s first chapter.


  •  The Wisconsin and Oregon Chapters receive charters.


  • President George Bush signs Proclamation declaring May 1989 National Stroke Awareness month, which continues yearly during May.
  • National Stroke Association establishes first fellowship grant dedicated to stroke research.  These fellows are recognized as today’s thought leaders in stroke prevention, acute treatment and rehabilitation nationwide.
  • National Stroke Association becomes the first stroke association to publish a professional journal for stroke, Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease. Today, this journal is one of the recognized authoritative publications for stroke worldwide.


  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) for the treatment of ischemic stroke within the first three hours of stroke symptoms.
  • National Stroke Association/Gallup Poll reveals significant lack of public knowledge about stroke.
  • National Stroke Association creates Stroke Center Network (SCN), a membership program for hospitals, specifically stroke teams, dedicated to advancing stroke care at their facilities. 



  • National Stroke Association implements the first-ever consensus statement on guidelines for stroke prevention, published in Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Nursing coordinators of Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Team create the Face, Arm, Speech, Time (FAST) acronym to assist people in remembering and recognizing stroke symptoms. 
  • National Stroke Association partners with the Canadian Stroke Society, the Mexican Academy of Neurology, and Medical Education Resources to host the annual North American Stroke Meeting, the first meeting of its kind to bring together the interdisciplinary stroke team.  Over 1750 people attend from 1999 to 2003.


  • National Stroke Association establishes, publishes and distributes StrokeSmart magazine, a free, premier publication on stroke to more than 250,000 general public and health professionals, stroke survivors and professionals.



  • National Stroke Association initiates new collaborations with the Western States Stroke Consortium and the Stroke Belt Consortium to host Regional Stroke Team Meetings, dramatically increasing attendance and enabling stroke team members to attend education activities collaboratively.
  • National Stroke Association publishes Stroke Clinical Update (SCU), a professional bi-monthly newsletter authored by professional stroke experts, documenting the latest information in stroke care by date.  Ten thousand healthcare professionals receive the newsletter from 2005 to 2007. The publication continues today on a project basis.


  • National Stroke Association develops and implements Steps Against Recurrent Stroke (STARS), an educational program for stroke patients at hospital discharge.  Engaging healthcare providers, stroke survivors and their caregivers and families, the program focuses on prevention of a second or third stroke through coordinated and committed post-stroke prevention tactics.  STARS reaches an estimated 350,000 stroke survivors from 2006-2009.
  • National Stroke Association publishes first ever evidence-based guidelines for managing transient ischemic attacks, otherwise known as TIAs.
  • National Stroke Association’s Grand Rounds program, accredited continuing medical education for hospital-based stroke teams, begins. Intracranial Hemorrhage and Acute Stroke, the first Grand Rounds, has over 1,000 attendees.



  • Stroke publishes Columbia University research study on National Stroke Association’s Hip-Hop Stroke Program, which educates urban area children about stroke.
  • National Stroke Association’s second Grand Rounds Program, Recurrent Stroke Prevention, begins.  From 2008-2009, the program educates over 9,000 participants from more than 200 hospitals.


  • Steps Against Recurrent Stroke Plus (STARS Plus) pilot program launches, directly reaching survivors for a full year post-stroke to maximize treatment and rehabilitation compliance assisting in recovery through support, education, and communication. 
  • Stroke Center Network expands to 194 hospitals and Stroke Rehabilitation Network to 60 hospitals.
  • National Stroke Association launches an interactive patient Web site with Boehringer Ingelheim called Talk About TIA.
  • National Stroke Association enters the social media realm, launching Facebook and Twitter pages. Regular educational campaigns are posted on both sites
  • National Stroke Association’s New York City Marathon team debuts, consisting of 29 runners raising over $100,000 for the organization.
  • National Stroke Association launches 10 Stroke Nurse Education Modules – distinct educational programs are designed to improve stroke patient care and outcomes by providing evidenced-based and best-practice nursing education across the stroke care continuum.

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