The Legislature finds that:
(1) Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Public Health Service of the United States Department of Health and Human Services;
(2) Forecasting by the American Heart Association predicts stroke prevalence to increase by twenty-four and nine-tenths percent between 2010 and 2030;
(3) The cost of stroke continues to increase as total hospital charges for stroke in Nebraska increased by more than fifty-four million dollars between 2001 and 2010, from fifty-four million dollars to one hundred eight million dollars, with the average charge per stroke hospitalization at thirty-one thousand dollars in 2010 according to the 2011 Nebraska Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program and Data Summary by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services;
(4) The rapid identification, diagnosis, and treatment of stroke can save the lives of stroke patients and in some cases reverse neurological damage such as paralysis and speech and language impairments;
(5) An effective system is needed in Nebraska communities in order to treat stroke patients in a timely manner and to improve the overall outcomes of stroke patients; and
(6) Creation and enhancement of stroke systems of care provide patients the highest quality care while ensuring seamless transitions along the care continuum.