MDHHS Announces Plans to Establish Stroke and Heart Attack Systems of Care

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Oct. 28 they are reorganizing to create systems of care for stroke and acute heart attack emergencies. The Bureau of EMS, Trauma & Preparedness within the MDHHS has been renamed the Bureau of Emergency Preparedness, EMS, and Systems of Care. The new systems of care will be integrated into the existing statewide trauma system and will help ensure every patient is taken to a facility with the proper level of care for their current condition.

The announcement came in recognition of World Stroke Day on Oct. 29 and reflects several years of MHA advocacy for the initiative. The MHA successfully advocated for funding in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 and 2023 state budgets that directed the MDHHS to undergo these efforts. That $3 million line-item, which will now be a part of the trauma system, will remain a priority for the MHA going into the next budget year.

The MHA also pursued legislation this session to this effect. Senate Bill (SB) 521, introduced by Sen. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek), would have memorialized the stroke and heart attack systems of care in statute. Adam Carlson, senior vice president, advocacy, MHA and Alex Chebl, MD, director of the Henry Ford Stroke Center and head of the Division of Vascular Neurology at Henry Ford Health System, provided testimony to the committee in support of SB 521. “It is critical all patients throughout the state have access to the best stroke care possible,” said Chebl. “SB 521 is an essential step to improving the quality of stroke care in the state of Michigan.”

Official draft rules have not yet been released and the MHA will keep members informed once more information is available for comment or review.

Members with questions about these changes should contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.