The International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke (IAPS) was created by a group of five board members: three parents and two pediatric neurologists. The idea for an advocacy group for pediatric stroke came from Dr. Gabrielle deVeber and Mary Kay Ballasiotes in Fall 2011. Dr. deVeber saw a need for an umbrella entity to provide collaboration between smaller organizations and groups who were working to make a difference for children impacted by stroke. IAPS received tax exempt status in November 2012 and the website was launched in May 2013.

Over the next year, more board members were added, and a Medical Advisory Board was created. In 2014, IAPS partnered with the American Stroke Association to produce an awareness video series and a pediatric stroke fact sheet. In 2015, IAPS collaborated with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Stroke Advisory Board to produce educational materials. Also in 2015, we launched the World Stroke Day awareness campaign.

In May 2016, IAPS created an annual awareness campaign for Stroke Awareness Month. We also continue to work with the World Stroke Organization for World Stroke Day every October. In 2017, we joined the World Thrombosis Day campaign to raise awareness that blood clots also affect children.

In March 2018, our executive director attended the NIH All of Us Research workshop, bringing the voice of children impacted by stroke. IAPS also attended the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference and spoke on the panel for Aligning the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Research Agenda to Reduce Health Outcome Gaps. In September 2018, Mary Kay Ballasiotes, on behalf of IAPS, was elected to the board of directors for the World Stroke Organization (WSO). Ms. Ballasiotes joined Dr. Patrice Lindsay, IAPS board member and Director of Stroke at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, who has served on the WSO board for the past few years.

Moving forward, we look forward to expanding our education, collaboration, partnerships and awareness on behalf of children and families impacted by stroke.