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Kristen Hickey, Connecticut

by John B. on Monday, March 31, 2014

I have always tried to make a difference in a patient’s life, but thanks to the American Heart Association, I can make a difference in lives of patient’s throughout Connecticut. I have been a Stroke Coordinator for the last 7 years and have a passion to improve stroke care for all of my patients. Stroke became a strong interest of mine after my father in law suffered a massive stroke. He lost his ability to move his left side and his awareness and memory were greatly affected. I often wondered if the best possible care was given to him and that drove me to learn more. Soon after, I was offered a Stroke Coordinator position and knew it was a perfect fit for me.

I am currently coordinating the care of stroke patients at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, the Bradley and New Britain campuses, as well as Midstate Medical Center. Every patient deserves the best possible stroke care and that philosophy, along with the support of the AHA, has helped me advocate for the improvement of stroke care in CT. I have truly enjoyed helping shape the Stroke System of Care Bill currently making its way through the legislature. This bill supports Stroke Certification of all hospitals in Connecticut by 2015, and if a hospital is unable to meet requirements, then EMS would transport to the closest certified Stroke Center. I have testified at the Public Health Committee meeting, lobbied with Senators and State Representatives and spoke to anyone who would hear my plea. I will continue to work tirelessly until all residents of Connecticut receive the best possible stroke care.

I am privileged to work with the AHA and a fantastic team of stroke professionals in the state. We all have different backgrounds and experiences, from all areas of the state, but we work together toward the goal of improving stroke care for all residents of Connecticut. It is very rewarding knowing that I can make a positive impact on the outcomes of the stroke patients at the hospitals with which I work, but thanks to the efforts of the AHA and my colleagues across the state, it is truly inspiring to realize that this impact can be shared with every patient in Connecticut.

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