Tuesday, March 16 both Harish Shownkeen MD and Robin Schmidt RN of Northwestern Medicine invited the public and their respected chambers of commerce to dive deeper into an open discussion about a clinical trial for stroke treatment.


Dave Sabathne CEO of the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce welcomed both professionals and the public by saying, “Often strokes can be masquerade by something else when employees are not feeling well and wanting to go home. Until you are asking key questions, you then recognize that they are having one. More so, we can count on calling Central DuPage Hospital’s mobile stroke unit to immediately address this issue.”

Robin explained to those in attendance “that we really are looking for community feedback on a research proposal.” “We have not launched this proposal on tonight’s topic.” Robin went on to say.  “Did you know that only 40% of people actually call 911 when they think they are having a stroke?” “Those details are why it’s important to look further into this treatment and Dr. Shownkeen will provide educational seminars for town hall meetings, groups like the Kiwanis, Rotary, etc.” Robin pointed out.


After a warm introduction of Dr. Shownkeen, he went right to work explaining what stroke or bleeding in the brain is, what options/treatment there are, and finally the FASTEST research trial. “We always try to get consent, but if you can’t get consent like in certain causes in stroke where the treatment is emergent. If you do not perform the treatment in a certain amount of time, the results and the outcomes are not as good as if you did it in the appropriate time to reverse the stroke and or the bleeding.”


Dr. Shownkeen explained. “Usually, patients agree to participate in a research trial only after they learn of the potential risks and benefits of the trial. However, patients who have a hemorrhagic stroke often are unable to discuss proposed treatment, which must be given quickly.”


The FASTEST research trial, which will study the use of a medication to treat hemorrhagic stroke, has been granted “Exception From Informed Consent” (EFIC) status by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  This means that the clinical team treating the patient may give the trial medication without consent. Before treating the patient, the team must make a reasonable effort to get informed consent from the patient or the patient’s legally authorized representative.  If no one can respond, the trial medication may be given.


After a full hour of asking questions and thoughtful discussion on the FASTEST trial, we were given Dr. Shownkeen's and Robin Schmidt's RN contact information so those who wish to understand more or plan other discussions like this (see below). We thank them both for providing such details on what this proposal is and taking time to address the questions of those in attendance. On behalf of the Batavia, Bartlett, Carol Stream, Lisle, Western DuPage, & Wheaton chambers of commerce we thank Northwestern Medicine on their continued support of our communities they serve. Especially the leaps and bounds they provide in the care and treatment for us and our loved ones. Special thanks to participating restaurants, Hawthorne's Backyard Bar & Grill (West Chicago), McAlister's Deli (Wheaton), and The Bunker Bar and Grill (West Chicago).


Last but not least, thank you to those who made time for this informative seminar on the FASTEST trial. Congratulations to our winners who will be enjoying a wonderful meal from our participating restaurants. For those who could not be present and still want to learn more about this trial please click the links below. Finally, please be sure to take the online survey (below) to provide their team important information for this new proposal.

FASTEST Trial Online Survey

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Contact information:
Robin Schmidt, MS RN
Study Coordinator Central DuPage Hospital
Phone: 630-983-2625
Email: robin.schmidt@nm.org

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Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce
306 Main St.
West Chicago, IL 60185
Phone: 630-231-3003
Fax: 630-231-3009
Email: team@westerndupagechamber.com

Monday- Friday: 8:00 AM-Noon 1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Saturday: By Appointment Only
Sunday: Closed