Program Overview

The Massachusetts Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Control Program (HSPC) works to improve the care for stroke patients, including 9-1-1 calls and the care provided by emergency medical services.

Our pre-hospital efforts focus on:

  • Improving quality of care for patients

  • Improving policies and infrastructure

  • Promoting the use of Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) by 9-1-1 call takers


To reach these goals, HSPC partners with the following organizations:

  • The statewide Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS)

  • Emergency Preparedness Bureau (EPB)

  • The State 911 Department

  • Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPS)

  • Ambulance services and others


9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatch

  • Promote the use of EMD by PSAPs to ensure that call takers respond to medical emergencies and dispatch resources in the most appropriate manner

  • Work with the state 9-1-1 Department to develop EMD standards and certification

  • Use the data from the electronic EMD for quality improvement and to help guide public health programs

EMS Stroke Quality Improvement

  • Improve the quality of care given to patients with stroke symptoms in the pre-hospital arena

  • Implement a set of evidence-based measures to help ambulance services evaluate and improve patient care

In working with the state highway, trauma, and emergency preparedness, other emergency response activities include:

  • Implementation of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs)

  • CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training

  • Stroke Heroes Act FAST trainings

This information is provided by the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Control Program within the Department of Public Health.