Learn More About 2CEERIAS Stroke Research

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fully-funded Phase II – Community Engagement for Early Recognition and Immediate Action in Stroke Initiative – in the COVID-19 Environment (2CEERIAS).  Our project period was June 2020 – May 2021.

To assess early intervention for at-risk stroke populations during COVID-19, ATW Health Solutions partnered with Dr. Shyam Prabakaran (Division Chair Neurology at the University of Chicago) and Dr. Neelum Aggarwal (Associate Professor and Research Director RUSH) and Discern Health to improve stroke disparities outcomes via a virtually disseminated education intervention.


The Community Engagement in Early Recognition and Immediate Action in Stroke (CEERIAS) study was funded by PCORI in 2014. The study objective was to use a patient- and community-partnered approach to develop and implement an effective intervention aimed at increasing early hospital arrival for acute stroke in two high-risk neighborhoods in Chicago. The research team created an educational program that prepared community leaders and patient advocates to recognize and train others in the community on the need to “Act FAST for Stroke”.  Through traditional community engagement methods, the knowledge and training shared by these Stroke Promoters helped to bring greater awareness to the community. Simply, being aware of the speed and care are given to patients who arrive at the hospital in time for lifesaving treatment, preferably by ambulance, helps to emphasize the importance of “acting FAST” in the community.

2CEERIAS project findings were presented to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division for Health Disease and Stroke. Our team received strong support to continue dissemination efforts to teach our evidence-based community and patient engagement strategies for minority at-risk populations. To find out more about how we received more than 3800 pledges for 2CEERIAS go to or read our final report by clicking the dial below.


Meet Our Non Clinical Case Management Team

ATW Health Solutions is proud to provide Non-Clinical Case Management Services for the Illinois Army National Guard.  Our team of 13 support the function of medical records, soldier readiness, and case management.

Meet our Contracts Manager and Transformation leader CSM, Howard O. Robinson, MHA,

ATW Health Solutions

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Howard Orlando Robinson is a Retired Senior Enlisted Leader for the State of Illinois Army and Air National Guard, former hospital administrator, and government liaison that leads ATW’s Department of Defense contract with the Illinois Army National Guard. In this role, Howard leads the State of Illinois non-clinical case management services coordination for Solider Readiness of more than 10,000 beneficiaries.  Under CSM Robinson’s leadership, the ILARNG leads all 50 States in its Solider Readiness productivity.

As Principal Senior Enlisted Advisor for Illinois he has been responsible for the oversight of training and morale, soldier and family care issues for Army and Air National Guardsman for the State of Illinois and is the consummate soldier advocate. He has provided the States Adjutant General with advice and recommendations on all enlisted matters pertaining to soldier welfare and training.  Howard has also served as the Senior Advisor to State Senator Michael Hastings and primary Enlisted Advisor to the Assistant Adjutant General of the Army National Guard where he has honed his talent for governmental relations management and leadership.  In these roles he has been responsible for State-wide efforts for all enlisted matters to include morale, the welfare of the enlisted force, serving on promotion and selection boards, representing the command within the enlisted ranks, and managing Illinoian constituent priorities.

Howard spent 30 plus years in various leadership roles with the Cook County Health and Hospital System where he developed a keen understanding of health care delivery systems and vulnerable populations.

CSM Robinson is a long-standing advocate locally and nationally on the issues of equity and quality. Of his most recent accomplishments, Howard developed a Veterans Commission serving the health needs of South Suburban Cook County. He possesses a Master of Health Administration Degree conferred by Governors State University.


COVID-19 Uncovers Engagement and Equity Opportunities

COVID-19 has changed the way of life for everyone and healthcare is no exception. Because of the pandemic, hospitals have forced to significantly reduce the number of patient visitors (friends and family), thus increasing the need for attention to patient satisfaction and improvements in quality care.

ATW Health Solutions (, an 8(a), and WOSB, is led by experts who understand the challenges healthcare systems and communities are facing today.  2CEERIAS is a research-based project funded by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) with ATW subcontracted partners Discern Health, Dr. Shyam Prabakahan (University of Chicago), and Dr. Neelum Aggarwal (RUSH).  This COVID-19 work focuses on a community-based approach to engaging and educating at-risk acute stroke patients about the signs and symptoms of stroke in an effort to get them to care timely.  Shelter in Place and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic have imposed risks to access to care and treatment for persons with chronic and acute conditions, including stroke.  Additionally, research has demonstrated significant disparities in outcomes among ethnic minority groups and the potential manifestation of stroke in COVID-19 cases.

2CEERIAS has activated its partnership with Apostle Carl White of the Southland Ministerial Health Network and 20 other Chicago-based Stroke Promoters to develop, design, and disseminate COVID-19 messaging about stroke aimed to influence the actions and behaviors related to health system engagement. As a result of this work, ATW Health Solutions has significantly improved the knowledge of at-risk Black and Latino persons by creating and facilitating culturally supported education interventions using virtual platforms.  On average, 2CEERIAS post-survey participant’s response to calling 9-1-1 improved by 20% than the pre-survey responses. 

Accordingly, because of ATW Health’s commitment to improving outcomes for ethnic minority communities, the team is also partnering with the National Minority Quality Forum to assist in recruiting Black patients into a COVID-19 clinical trial.  Ensuring representation of the Black community in science and research is critical to eliminating disparities.

When the stakes are high, interactions between patients, providers and caregivers are vital to successful outcomes.  Beneficiary and stakeholder engagement strategies should ensure quality and positive interactions, otherwise, the result could significantly reduce the overall quality of care for patients.  Considering the long-standing stigma of mistrust among ethnic minority populations and the implications of COVID-19 vaccinations, having the right approach toward community and patient engagement is critical for success.  ATW Health Solutions staff are masterful at understanding consumer engagement and can provide technical assistance for your organizational education, research and engagement requirements.