The stroke program at UT Health 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). It was the first Stroke Center established in Houston at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center campus and was one of the first established in the world.
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)
- One of the top stroke training programs for neurologists
- 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).
- First Stroke Center established at Memorial Hermann (TMC campus) in Houston and one of the first in the world
- First in the region to create a neuro ICU service and inpatient neurorehabilitation unit for patients with cerebrovascular disease
- The first mobile stroke unit in the country