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Stroke Care

Meet the Stroke Coordinator

Sara Ginn, MSN, RN, stroke coordinator

Sara Ginn, MSN, RN, stroke coordinator for Wayne UNC Health Care, belongs to a family of nurses—including her mom, sister, and mother-in-law. “We like to help people,” she said. So it felt natural for her to pursue a career in nursing, too.

In college, she worked as a nurse assistant. She later moved on to a full-time career in surgery and heart care at a local hospital, and earned a master of science degree in nursing.

When a position opened up for a stroke coordinator at Wayne UNC in Goldsboro, Sara took advantage of the opportunity to work closer to her Le Grange home. “I thought I’d learn more about the stroke patient population and help build up Wayne UNC’s program,” she said. She later earned Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN®) certification, which shows expertise in stroke care.

Helping Patients Navigate Their Journey

For several years, she’s guided patients through stroke treatment, connecting them with support and resources at Wayne UNC and in the community. But Sara didn’t imagine how much she’d come to love caring for stroke patients. “It’s the closest thing to a miracle when you give medicine to someone having a stroke, and they come back to normal right in front of you,” she said.

For worried loved ones, Sara plays a comforting role. “I like to be support for family members and let them know they're not alone,” she said. She teaches them how to provide care at home for someone who had a stroke and makes sure patients know how to keep themselves well.

Stopping Strokes From Striking

Sara’s role involves teaching patients, families, and the community about stroke prevention. Sometimes that includes formal presentations at churches or senior centers. Other times, it means impromptu visits to a barbershop or salon to chat with customers while they’re stuck in one place, she said with a laugh.

But the discussions are serious. Goldsboro is not just in the Stroke Belt, but in the “Buckle”—where stroke rates are among the nation’s highest. Health literacy in Wayne County is low. So one-on-one conversations—combined with easy-to-read, take-home handouts—make a difference. Healthy lifestyle habits and regular medical care can prevent up to 80% of strokes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Making Connections

Sara’s work makes an impact on the people she teaches and cares for. Just read the comments on a Wayne UNC Facebook post about her work: “Sara is the best. She really has the patients first.” “Love her.” “You are the bomb!”

Personal connections are her favorite part of the job. “I see former patients out in the community, and they’ll tell me they can walk again and do things with their family,” she said. “It’s very rewarding.”

Stroke Symptoms? Call 9-1-1

Learn the acronym B.E. F.A.S.T. to recognize the signs of stroke:

  • Balance – Sudden loss of balance, headache, and lower extremities weakness
  • Eye – Blurred vision, double vision, or loss of vision
  • Facial drooping – One side of face drops or is numb or tingling
  • Arm or leg weakness – Sudden numbness or weakness in one side of the body
  • Speech difficulty – Slurred speech, inability to get words out, or saying inappropriate words
  • Time to call 911 – Call for an ambulance immediately; don’t drive to the hospital or wait for symptoms to resolve

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