By Representatives Lois DeBerry, Bowers, Cooper, Brooks

Substituted for: Senate Bill No. 2837

By Senator Ford

AN ACT to amend to Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 68, relative to the Strike Out Stroke Project.


SECTION 1. (a) The purpose of this act is to create a pilot project in Memphis/Shelby County with the objective being:

(1) to build the capacity of health care providers to control hypertension and treat cardiovascular disease through increased professional education;

(2) to provide the appropriate standards for equipment, screening and measurement of blood pressure;

(3) to provide for the development and adoption of protocols for blood pressure measurement;

(4) to raise awareness of the general public, and specifically the minority community, about the importance of controlling high blood pressure;

(5) to provide lasting improvement in the health and physical well-being of Tennesseans with hypertension and treating cardiovascular disease, thus providing the State's citizens with an improved quality of life and society the reduction of health care costs;

(6) to improve professional education about strategies to prevent stroke by the appropriate treatment of heart disease (including, but not limited to, atrial fibrillation);

(7) to increase professional awareness as to the emergency nature of stroke and new strategies to reverse or minimize the effects of a stroke; and

(8) to improve public education about the symptoms of stroke and the need for stroke patients to seek immediate care.

(b) There is established a Memphis/Shelby County Strike Out Stroke Pilot Project to be administered through a grant by the Department of Health to Senior Services in Memphis. Such program shall be a three-year pilot project. Such project cost shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). The purpose of the project is to build the capacity of health care providers to control hypertension and effectively treat cardiovascular disease, and to increase awareness among minorities of the importance of controlling high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors. The program shall consist of the following:

(1) Strategies for educating and training health professionals. The strategies shall include:

(A) Implementation of training sessions on high blood pressure management and prevention that include advice concerning the purchase and maintenance/calibration of blood pressure measurement equipment;

(B) Development of protocols for blood pressure measurement that are consistent with the latest report of the Joint National Committee on Hypertension Control;

(C) Providing and implementing programs on the proper treatment of patients with heart disease (including, but limited to, atrial fibrillation) to prevent stroke in this population;

(D) Disseminating the American College of Chest Physicians' recommendations for stroke prevention;

(E) Developing and disseminating protocols for treating stroke as a medical emergency, including recommendations for hospitalization and medical care of acute stroke patients; and

(F) Providing information about blood pressure medication, medications for treatment of risk factors that contribute to heart disease and stroke, including the problems of polypharmacy and side effects.

(2) Strategies for educating and training patients and targeted communities. The strategies shall include:

(A) Developing, marketing, and distributing resource and education materials on issues concerning hypertension and stroke prevention, including stroke symptoms and the need for emergency treatment for stroke symptoms;

(B) Providing such materials to clinical sites through electronic means; and

(C) Ensuring that such materials are culturally sensitive to appropriate literacy levels.

(3) Strategies for raising public awareness on the causes, nature, treatment, and prevention of hypertension and stroke. The strategies shall include:

(A) Planning and implementing a communication plan incorporating a variety of complementary media and marketing activities targeting medically underserved persons, ethnic population, and low literacy groups.

(B) Planning and implementing a public awareness campaign that educates the public on the symptoms of stroke and TIA, and the need to seek emergency care if they experience such symptoms; and

(C) Seeking opportunities for public/private partnerships and for building hypertension and risk factor awareness into community events and existing programs, services, and activities.

(c) In implementing the project, the department shall do the following within the project cost limitation:

(1) provide sufficient staff to implement the Strike Out Stroke Project;

(2) provide appropriate training for the staff of the Strike Out Stroke Project;

(3) develop and disseminate resource materials for professional and patient education and public awareness; and

(4) provide training and support to health care professionals in local health departments and clinical settings.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 1998, the public welfare requiring it.

PASSED: April 29, 1998

APPROVED this 18th day of May 1998