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


VSSTF Leadership:

Chair: Pankajavalli Ramakrishnan, MD

Co-Chair: Chad Aldridge, PT, DPT, MS-CR, NCS

Other 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 

Meeting Schedule

Date Time Location
Friday, October 15, 2021 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Virtual Meeting information:
Join meeting:>Join from the meeting link: by meeting number:
Meeting number (access code): 2428 673 6270
Meeting password: seJCGkSd277
Friday, January 14, 2022 TBD TBD
Friday, April 15, 2022 TBD TBD

Upcoming Meeting Agenda:
Virginia Stroke Task Force (VSSTF) Virtual Meeting details:
When: Friday, October 15, 2021 from 10:00am – 12:00pm


  • 10:00AM: VSSTF Business
    • Pankaja Ramakrishnan, MD | Riverside Regional Medical Center and
    • Chad Aldridge, PT, DPT, MS-CR, NCS | UVA Medical Center
  • 10:15AM: Use of Technology in Stroke Care
    • Nina Solenski, MD, Director UVA Telestroke Program | UVA Comprehensive Stroke Center
  • 10:45AM: Acute Stroke Triage in the Field: Lessons Learned from the RACECAT Trial 
    • Marc Ribó, MD, Interventional Neurologist | Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
  • 11:30AM: CDC Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program Updates
    • Patrick Wiggins, MPH | Virginia Department of Health
  • 12:00PM-1:00PM:Virginia Stroke Coordinators Consortium Meeting (Contact Kimberly Pinna and Laurie Mayer for more information)


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.