COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Did you know the state of Ohio has a stroke registry? The registry collects data on stroke care and categorizes hospitals that specialize in treating strokes.

In an effort to preserve the state’s stroke registry, several healthcare providers and stroke survivors addressed the Ohio legislature.

“This is a condition that is devastating if it’s not treated in the appropriate manner and a timely manner,” said Dr. B. J. Hicks, a vascular neurologist and co-director of the Comprehensive Stroke Program at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

Hicks said when a person has a stroke, both timing and adequate treatment are crucial.

“We have to understand there’s a finite number of the comprehensive or top level of stroke centers and certain types of stroke patients deserve to go directly to those kind of centers,” he said.

It’s that hospital designation and the information gathered on stroke care that Hicks is looking to preserve.

Just days ago, speaking on behalf of the American Heart Association and patients statewide Hicks joined another physician and a stroke survivor to speak in front of the Ohio legislature; their goal was to urge lawmakers to codify House Bill 431, a bill that would preserve the existing stroke registry.

“Ohio receives Coverdale grant funding from the CDC to operate a stroke registry,” said Dustin Holfinger, the state government relations director for the American Heart Association.

Holfinger said by codifying HB 431, it ensures that the state will keep the registry in place even if the funding goes away.

Holfinger says roughly 20 percent of the cases at the state’s 100 designated stroke facilities are tracked in the registry, as well as the circumstances around the patients’ conditions.

“Was the patient admitted in a timely matter, what sort of condition were they in, what treatment did they receive, how quickly did they receive that treatment, how well received was that treatment, and how quickly were they discharged from the hospital and what was their status,” he said.

It’s data that Holfinger and Hick said provides helpful insight into the state of strokes and stroke care in Ohio.

Those hoping to see the legislation codified spoke at a second statehouse committee hearing. Three hearings are typically held, and after the third hearing, committee members can vote to send the measure to the Senate floor for a final vote.