Mount Nittany Medical Center’s Emergency Department Honored for Exceptional Stroke Care

December 08, 2023
General News & Announcements
5 min read


Dr. Elias and team pose for photo in the Emergency Department

From Left to Right: Tara Wolfinger, RN; Brianne Lyons, EDT; Brian Newcomb, MD; Jeffrey Elias, DO; Kate Watson, RN; Naomi Knapp, and Nina Kephart, MSN, RN.

Mount Nittany Health is honored to recognize Jeffrey Elias, DO, FACEP, Emergency Medicine, and the Emergency Department team for providing exceptional stroke care to a patient at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Recently, Elias and team achieved a 21-minute “door to needle” time in administering thrombolytic treatment to a stroke patient.  It is the second time a 21-minute “door to needle” has been achieved at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Administering thrombolytic treatment within such a short timeframe can significantly mitigate the long-term effects of a stroke, helping patients regain their quality of life and reducing the risk of permanent disability. According to the American Heart Association, the benchmark door-to-needle time is 60 minutes.

“Dr. Elias exemplifies an unwavering commitment to providing outstanding care to patients at Mount Nittany Medical Center,” said Nina Kephart, MSN, RN, Stroke and Sepsis Coordinator, Mount Nittany Health. “His passion for comprehensive stroke care not only elevates our standards but also ensures that our patients receive quality treatment. Dr. Elias has set a benchmark for excellence, reinforcing our commitment to ‘Healthier people, stronger community.’”

By achieving a 21-minute “door to needle” time, Elias and the Emergency Department team have demonstrated their proficiency in diagnosing stroke symptoms, initiating appropriate protocols, and ensuring timely treatment delivery.

“This accomplishment is a testament to the team's commitment to delivering swift and effective stroke care, ensuring that our patients receive the best possible treatment and outcomes during a critical moment,” said Elias. “I am immensely proud of their collective dedication to always providing high quality care to our patients.”

As the only emergency department in Centre County, Mount Nittany Medical Center provides 24-hour paramedic service that responds to emergencies like cardiac (heart) and respiratory (breathing) problems, strokes, diabetes complications and trauma-related incidents. More than 55,000 patients are treated annually at the Emergency Department, which has 48 beds, with the ability to expand to 62 beds, two state-of-the-art trauma bays, and specially designed behavioral health rooms with security features for safety of patients/staff.

Mount Nittany Health is a recipient of the American Heart Association’s GoldPlus Get with the Guidelines-Stroke quality achievement award. This recognition underscores our organization’s dedication to delivering exceptional care to patients in accordance with well-established, evidence-driven protocols. Our commitment translates into an increased number of lives saved and a reduction in disability rates.


Know the signs of a stroke.

Mount Nittany Health encourages everyone to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of a stroke, by learning the acronym BE FAST:

  • B- Balance: Loss of balance, headache or dizziness
  • E- Eyes: Blurred vision
  • F- Face: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A- Arm: Is one arm weak or numb?
  • S- Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
  • T- Time: If the person shows any symptoms, even if they go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.


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