Additional Funding Enables Mobile Stroke Unit to Continue Saving Lives Across LA County

Additional Funding Enables Mobile Stroke Unit to Continue Saving Lives Across LA County

Los Angeles, CA— The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have approved an additional $1.4 million of funding to keep the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit in operation across LA County so it can continue to save lives and break new ground in the treatment of stroke patients.

The UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit is a specially equipped ambulance, built with a mobile CT scanner, point-of-care lab tests, telehealth connection with a vascular neurologist, and therapies, all designed to deliver proven stroke treatments to patients long before they arrive at the hospital. Since its launch in September of 2017, this single Mobile Stroke Unit has responded to 632 9-1-1 calls and treated and transported 153 patients across LA County. Of the patients treated, 119 were diagnosed with strokes and were able to benefit from the quick treatment provided by the Mobile Stroke Unit. 

“When it comes to a stroke, minutes matter,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “If this Mobile Stroke Unit can get to a patient and treat them quickly—that person has a better chance of not only surviving but also avoiding the debilitating brain damage a stroke can cause. With this funding we can keep this Mobile Stroke Unit on the road, saving lives in LA County, while Dr. May Nour and her team work to change the way we treat stoke patients forever.”

The UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit is one of seven programs across the country participating in a national demonstration project aimed at evaluating the clinical benefit, cost effectiveness and health care utilization of this specialized resource.  It is sponsored by the Arline and Henry Gluck Foundation in partnership with Los Angeles County. The program was set to end in early 2021, but the additional funding will allow it to continue operating through 2021 as the UCLA Mobile Stroke Rescue Program works to get approval to bill insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid for its clinical services in the future.

“I am endlessly grateful for support from Supervisor Janice Hahn and the County Board of Supervisors in collaboration with LA County EMS/DHS which have allowed for continued clinical operations of the Mobile Stroke Unit,” said Dr. May Nour, Medical Director of the Arline & Henry Gluck Mobile Stroke Rescue Program. “I remain optimistic that following completion of the demonstration period for the unit, we will one day realize the dream of an LA County fleet of MSUs to offer conclusive pre-hospital diagnosis, hyperacute life and brain saving treatments, and precise patient hospital routing. Witnessing the determination and courage of stroke victors as they make their way to meaningful recovery drives us in the field each day.” 

The UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit operates seven days a week on a rotating schedule between 3 geographic sites in the County of Los Angeles: the Western Site (Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, rendezvous with patients transported from the Malibu to the city of Santa Monica), the Southern Site (Hawaiian Gardens, Signal Hill, Long Beach, Lakewood, La Mirada, Cerritos, Artesia, Bellflower, Paramount, unincorporated Whittier) and the most recently launched, South Bay Site (Torrance, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Gardena, Carson).

The motion which passed unanimously allocates $1,000,000 of one-time Measure B funding as well as $400,000 from Supervisor Hahn’s 4th District Provisional Financing Uses budget to extend the operations of the UCLA Health Mobile Stroke Unit pilot program.

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