Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill., suffered a stroke on Jan. 21, 2012, and spent almost the entire next year recovering, returning to the Capitol on Jan. 4, 2013, with a newfound interest in stroke research.  Kirk on Wednesday met with a team of doctors to discuss his “stroke agenda, ” a quest to win more federal funding for stroke research and victim assistance.

Kirk talked about his stroke agenda at a press conference at Northwestern Memorial Hospital-Prentice Women’s Hospital after meeting with the stroke researchers, including members of the medical team involved in his treatment. 

The legislative package includes three bills Kirk introduced in 2013 and have yet to advance. Kirk, asked about the legislative road ahead, said the “very powerful coalitition” of seven Chicago-area medical institutions should lead to success. 

Kirk’s stroke bills:

*The Rehabilitation Improvement Act. Kirk’s co-sponsor is Sen. Tim Johnson D-S.D. who also suffered a major stroke.

*Preserving Rehabilitation Innovation Centers Act of 2013, co-sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill.

*The Return to Work Act.

Among the doctors meeting with Kirk:

    Dr. Richard Bernstein, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

    Dr. Tim Carroll, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

    Dr. Jules Dewald, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

    Dr. Shyam Prabhakaran, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

    Dr. Richard Harvey, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

    Dr. Elliott Roth, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

    Dr. Mark Wainwright, Lurie Children’s Hospital

    Dr. Jim Conners, Rush University

    Dr. Michael Kelly, Stroger Hospital

    Dr. Jose Biller, Loyola University

    Dr. Sarkis Morales-Vidal, Loyola University

    Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

    Alex Meixner, American Heart Association and American Stroke Association