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Federal grant boosts SPIRIT stroke research efforts

A federal grant will boost the efforts of the Southern New England Partnership in Stroke Research, Innovation and Treatment (SPIRIT) Coordinating Center, a partnership of Hartford HealthCare, Brown University and Yale University, as it participates in the prestigious multi-site research consortium StrokeNet.

StrokeNet, the stroke clinical trial network of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), includes 29 sites, including SPIRIT. The objective is supporting high-quality research into ways to advance the prevention and treatment of stroke as well as rehabilitation after a stroke. NIH launched StrokeNet in 2014 with funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

“Our involvement in this research consortium means that patients at Hartford HealthCare’s Stroke Program have access to the most progressive research trials examining the latest ideas for the prevention and treatment of stroke,” says Mark Alberts, MD, physician-in-chief of the Ayer Neuroscience Institute and the system’s principal investigator for the SPIRIT grant. “It underscores the fact that ours is a world-class clinical and research program.”

In addition to Alberts, SPIRIT principal investigators are Kevin Sheth, an associate professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Yale University; and Karen Furie, a professor of clinical neuroscience and neurology at Brown University.

“We gain strength in partnering with such formidable institutions as Yale and Brown. SPIRIT will allow us to improve the options available to people of this region faced with the potentially disabling and fatal possibility of stroke,” Alberts says.

For more information about the Stroke Program with the Ayer Neuroscience Institute, go to



Hartford HealthCare is Connecticut’s most comprehensive healthcare network. Our fully integrated health system includes a tertiary-care teaching hospital, an acute-care community teaching hospital, an acute-care hospital and trauma center, three community hospitals, the state’s most extensive behavioral health network, a large multispecialty physician group, a regional home care system, an array of senior care services, a large physical therapy and rehabilitation network and an accountable care organization. Through its institute model, Hartford HealthCare offers the highest standards of care for cancer, heart and vascular services, neuroscience, orthopedics and urology. Visit us at