The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ telemedicine stroke program has been recently named one of three national finalists for the 2019 Hearst Health Prize for Excellence in Population Health.
The Arkansas Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support (AR SAVES) program was founded in 2008 by Dr. Curtis Lowery. According to a UAMS press release, the program “links patients in rural emergency rooms to remote neurologists through interactive video to diagnose and treat strokes.”
A winner for the prize will be announced at the Population Health Colloquium, which will be held in Philadelphia, on March 19. The winner receives a $100,000 cash award. Lowery will represent the AR SAVES program at the colloquium.
“I cannot be prouder of my AR SAVES team, and all the lives they have positively affected through our work together,” Lowery says. “Being named a finalist for the Hearst Health Prize is a great honor and recognition for the program, second only to the honor of seeing patients who received AR SAVES care going on to live fulfilling, rich lives after their strokes.”
AR SAVES is the result of a partnership between the UAMS Center for Distance Health, the Arkansas Department of Human Services and 55 participating hospitals. Through AR SAVES, emergency room physicians around the state can receive 24-hour support.
Since its inception, AR SAVES has helped Arkansas lower its stroke mortality rate from first in the nation to sixth. Now, 99 percent of Arkansas citizens live within a 60-minute drive of an AR SAVES site.