The stroke program was started by Jim Grotta in 1979 and was supported by the cerebrovascular disease related research interests of the first two Department of Neurology Chairmen (Bill Fields–management of extracranial carotid disease and Frank Yatsu –stroke risk factors). The program was initially shaped by important collaborations with faculty in stroke epidemiology, clinical trial design, and basic science, and the Houston Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Important milestones have included:
- Participation as one of the lead sites in the NINDS tPA Stroke Studies from 1990-1995
- A P50 program grant from 2002 to 2014 to serve as one of 8 centers in the US to conduct specialized translational research to develop novel acute stroke therapies (SPOTRIAS)
- A T32 stroke fellowship training grant to train the next generation of academic leaders in cerebrovascular disease
- Participation as a regional coordinating center in the new NINDS Stroke Network (StrokeNet).
- The first joint commission certified comprehensive stroke center in the state
- The first mobile stroke unit in the country
Sean Savitz directs the stroke program which has substantially expanded over the years to encompass the full spectrum of stroke care and stroke research. The stroke program has divisions in pre-hospital care, acute stroke, brain hemorrhage, stroke recovery/rehabilitation, stroke prevention, telemedicine, neuroimaging, and basic science.
Sean Savitz, MD
Program Director, Vascular Neurology