There is a striking disparity in the burden of stroke for several major sociodemographic
groups including race-ethnic minorities, women, people of lower socioeconomic means, rural
dwellers, and those residing in low income countries. The impact of these disparities translates
to huge economic costs for the US. Adding to the sense of urgency is a substantial projected
future widening of stroke prevalence for several of these groups. As a society, we need to have
a better understanding of the causes for these disparities, and test solutions to reduce them, but
too few studies to date have demonstrated substantial reductions in stroke outcome disparities.
Moreover, fostering the successful development of the next generation of stroke disparities
researchers is crucial to resolving this growing challenge. The Health Equity & Actionable
Disparities in Stroke: Understanding & Problem-solving (HEADS-UP) symposium, is a
multidisciplinary forum focused on major disparities in cerebrovascular disease, with the
overarching goal of reducing disparities in stroke and accelerating translation of research
findings to improve outcomes for disadvantaged socioeconomic groups. HEADS-UP 2021-2024
will be held in February of each successive year, featuring plenary talks by distinguished
researchers, career development activities, and poster sessions. HEADS-UP 2021 will focus on
Community Awareness and Stakeholder Engagement. HEADS-UP is a collaborative initiative
with the American Stroke Association (ASA) and will occur a day before the start of the ASA’s
two and half International Stroke Conference, the premier global stroke science meeting, where
> 5000 stroke scientists from all over the world gather to present their research & network.
Involvement of ASA brings to this important effort, wide access to relevant scientific disciplines,
volunteer engagement from leaders in the field, financial support, worthwhile in-kind resources,
and proven experience in implementing high impact programs. Basic scientists, translational
researchers and clinicians, seasoned investigators and early career scientists will be invited, but
a major emphasis is to encourage active involvement of an early career cohort of investigators.
HEADS-UP Specific Aims are: To host a forum which will identify knowledge gaps and provide
opportunities for researchers from diverse disciplines to discuss cutting-edge research about
key disparities in stroke; 2) To accelerate collaborations via networking opportunities among
stakeholders; 3) To award travel scholarships to 20 multidisciplinary Post-Doctoral Scholars
from a national pool from diverse professional backgrounds committed to stroke disparities
research careers; 4) To disseminate knowledge generated from HEADS-UP via scientific &
public venues; 5) To evaluate effectiveness of HEADS-UP by assessing number of attendees,
and Young Awardee Achievements.