American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA)
During the 2008 General Assembly § 32.1-111.3, the Statewide Emergency Medical Care System, was amended to add "as a component of the Emergency Medical Services Plan a statewide Prehopsital and Interhospital Stroke Triage Plan designed to promote rapid access for stroke patients to appropriate, organized stroke care through the publication and regular updating of information on resources for stroke care and generally accepted criteria for stroke triage and appropriate transfer". The legislation was added as a result of a Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) study.
The JCHC also recommended the establishment of a Virginia Stroke Systems Task Force (VSSTF). The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has accepted this recommendation and the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program (HDSP) within the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control will be managing the VSSTF on behalf of VDH; OEMS developed and maintains the State's stroke triage plan and represents the OEMS as a standing member of the stroke task force.
From July 2010 through June 2011 the EMS regions, through contract with the OEMS, will be developing regional stroke plans that are based on the State stroke plan (see link below.) Regional plans incorporate each regions geographic variations and acute stroke care capabilities and resources. The goal of stroke triage is to direct acute strokes to designated stroke centers whenever possible. Designated stroke centers are those hospitals certified by the Joint Commission as "primary stroke centers."