He met Wednesday with Chicago-area stroke experts. They say about 800,000 Americans suffer strokes each year.
Kirk has introduced legislation aimed at improving stroke research and treatment. On Wednesday, he said his chief goal is getting victims back to work as soon as possible.
"I would just think with a couple hundred thousand Americans not returning to work after a stroke, it's an incredible waste for the United States," said Sen. Kirk.
Kirk also said the experts here in Chicago could lead the country in stroke research.