DuBOIS — Penn Highlands Healthcare is pleased to announce the appointment of Kristina L. Cence, BSN, RN, as the stroke coordinator for the health system.

In this role, she will coordinate and implement all services and activities related to the Penn Highlands Healthcare stroke program and act as a liaison between the physicians, nursing staff, patients and families. Penn Highlands Healthcare is the gold standard in stroke care. Penn Highlands DuBois is a designated Primary Stroke Center for the Northwestern/Central region. In addition, Penn Highlands DuBois and Penn Highlands Mon Valley each received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines® — Stroke Gold Plus Award.

Since joining Penn Highlands DuBois in 2019, Cence served as a registered nurse in the ICU and telemedicine services. In these positions, Cence applied knowledge she acquired working for more than a decade as a registered nurse in intensive care units in Central Pennsylvania hospitals. She is skilled in NIHSS, which is a 15-item neurologic examination scale used to evaluate the effect of the stroke on the levels of consciousness, language, neglect, visual-field loss, eye movement, motor strength, muscle control, speech ability and sensory loss. Cence also is proficient in the administration of tPA, a drug used in people experiencing a stroke to dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow to the brain.

A resident of Curwensville, Cence received her associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from Lock Haven University in Clearfield. She is certified in AHA BLS, which denotes proficiency in the ability to recognize several life-threatening emergencies, give high-quality chest compressions, deliver appropriate ventilations and provide early use of an AED. In addition to her NIHSS certification, Cence is certified in AHA ACLS which reflects science and education from the American Heart Association Guidelines Update for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care.

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