On October 3rd, 2017, the Angels and ESO EAST meetings were held in Košice, Slovakia. The meetings were attended by participants from 18 countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Slovakia. The meeting was opened by Valeria Caso, President of ESO, who briefly summed up the objectives of both initiatives. First, we need to increase the number of stroke ready hospitals so that more patients have access to the specialist care they need. Second, we need to optimise the quality of treatment in all existing stroke centres. As part of the ESO EAST project, participants presented a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of single countries in stroke care. Strengths are the enthusiasm of doctors, ESO and Angels support, international collaboration thanks to these initiatives. The biggest problems (weaknesses) in the participating countries are loss of motivation of doctors, lack of finances, lack of invasive radiologists, lack of public campaign. There are countries where they still do not have centers for intravenous thrombolysis and thrombectomy. There is no quality control in a lot of countries, that is why RES-Q project (Registry of stroke quality) organised by ESO EAST was very highly rated. Robert Mikulik, ESO EAST Chair presented first results from this registry. There are big differences between countries, but also between different centres in one country. Information from RES-Q register can be used in communication with country government officials to improve stroke care. The Angels Initiative was very highly evaluated. The Angels helped a lot in organisation of seminars, education, communication with local authorities, public campaigns, and mainly in management of stroke care in hospitals. The proof of this is, that other countries also want to be involved in this initiative.
The Angels meeting included a virtual patient solution, the participants were divided into three groups and the best group was recognised with an award.

ESO President, Valeria Caso, was invited for a meeting by the Mayor of Košice, Richard Raši. The meeting took place in the Old Town Hall where they discussed the issue of strokes and where the Mayor showed the town’s coat of arms. Košice was the first town in Europe to be granted its own coat of arms. It was granted by King Louis I the Great in 1369.

The meetings were followed by the 45th Slovak and Czech cerebrovascular congress and VII.  conference of nurses working in neurology, attended by about 300 participants who presented about 80 lectures. The Chair of Slovak stroke society Zuzana Gdovinová presented New national guidelines for stroke and new network of primary and secondary stroke centers in Slovakia which was prepared with the support of the Ministry of Health. The Minister of Health also took over the patronage of the event.

Photos from the 45th Slovak and Czech cerebrovascular congress and VII.  conference of nurses.