Virginia Stroke Systems Task Force


In 2007, the Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) conducted a study to develop strategies to address stroke prevention and care across the Commonwealth. To conduct the study, the JCHC staff convened a cross-sectional expert workgroup that met several times to review stroke systems care in Virginia.  The workgroup made a number of recommendations to improve Virginia’s stroke systems, all of which were approved by JCHC. Among those recommendations was a requirement that the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) convene a standing Stroke Systems Task Force, which later evolved into the Virginia Stroke Systems Task Force (VSSTF). VSSTF membership includes neurologists, EMS, stroke center coordinators, pharmacists, and nurses that are dedicated to improving stroke systems of care in Virginia.  The role of VDH is to provide administrative support to the VSSTF.


“The VSSTF is committed to improving the health and quality of life of all stroke patients/survivors, their families, and communities we serve through quality health care, education and outreach.”


“We aspire to be an influential voice for a collaborative statewide continuum of stroke care.”


The purpose of the VSSTF is to identify and evaluate strategies for enhancing stroke care in Virginia to improve health outcomes and quality of life. Meeting quarterly, the VSSTF focuses on:

  • The VSSTF action plan
  • Outcome analysis of action plan interventions
  • Professional development
  • Other stroke issues/concerns


Members include:  neurologists, neuroradiologists, emergency care physicians, family practice/primary care physicians, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, nurses, pharmacologist/pharmacists, primary stroke center hospital administrators, stroke survivor, community educators, stroke center coordinators, and representatives from VDH chronic disease and emergency medical services, American Stroke Association, American Heart Association, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, Medical Society of Virginia, Virginia Association of Health Plans, pharmaceutical, insurance, and medical device industry, and telemedicine.

Member Qualifications and Characteristics

The ideal VSSTF member will:

  • Be a recognized expert in stroke systems and/or one or more of the components of a stroke system of care
  • Be in a position to help affect systems change on a statewide or regional scale
  • Be willing to share ideas in a cooperative forum
  • Deal with other members fairly, sensitively, and confidentially
  • Be open to diverse opinions and points of view 

VSSTF Meetings

Date Time Location

  • July 21, 2023
10:00AM - 3:00PM In-person meeting location is at the
Tidewater EMS Regional Council,
723 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, VA

Virtual Option TBA.

Virtual Option Available upon request:

  • October 20, 2023 at VHHA, 4200 Innslake Drive, Suite 203, Glen Allen, VA
  • January 19, 2024 at Mary Washington Hospital, 1001 Sam Perry Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA
  • April 19, 2024 TBD in Southwest Virginia
  • July 19, 2024 at Maryview Medical Center, 3636 High Street, Portsmouth, VA
 10:00AM - 3:00PM

Upcoming Meeting Agenda: (VSSTF Meeting from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM)

Agenda PDF

10:00-10:30am           VSSTF Business

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes
  • Work Groups (Reinstitution, Feedback and General Comments)
  • May Day—Melanie Winningham, MD, Sentara Healthcare
  • Future Meeting Schedule

10:30-10:40am           Virginia Stroke Care Quality Improvement Advisory Group Update - Mission, Registry, Hospital Survey, Kathryn Funk, AGACNP-BC, MSN, Virginia Department of Health

10:40-11:00am           Stroke Smart City Initiatives: Stacie Stevens PhD, FNP /Ramana Feeser, MD, VCU Healthcare 

11:00-11:30am           EMS –Data Collection, Validity and Benchmarking, David Long MA, NRP, Executive Director, Tidewater EMS Council Inc.                       

11:30-12:00pm           Lunch sponsored by RapidAI

12:00-12:30pm           Vendor Talk Anthony Ribeiro, Enterprise Account Executive, RapidAI

12:30-1:30pm             Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Guidelines, John Baker, MD, PHD,                     Chesapeake Regional Healthcare 

1:30-2:00pm               Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Patient Vignettes, Pankajavalli                Ramakrishnan, MD, Riverside Healthcare

2:00-3:00pm               Virginia Stroke Coordinators Consortium Meeting - Large Core Infarcts, John Gaughen, MD, Blue Ridge Area Interventional Neuroradiology

Special thanks to RapidAI for sponsoring today’s meeting!

In the spirit of Collegiality and Professionalism, please be mindful of any information obtained and shared in this meeting that could be sensitive to an individual or an institution.


Emergency Medical Services:
Make recommendations in the context of notification and response of EMS for stroke.

Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients:
Promote the effectiveness of rehabilitation and the importance of effective communication among providers, facilities, patients and family members.

Primary Care:
Support mechanisms to assist communities and providers in initiating prevention regimens applicable to the population as a whole.

Community Education:
Develop and support educational programs that target high-risk populations and their families.