There’s more to the emergency department at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center than you might think

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By Laura Briedis

The University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center ER is fully staffed 24/7 with nurses, advanced practice providers, and an attending physician. The ER department also works with pharmacists, radiology technicians and laboratory technicians to provide the best patient care.

Just months before Dr. Haley Durdella was to start working at the University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, a campus of UH Regional Hospitals, she was in a car accident and was treated in the hospital for multiple injuries. The tables were turned as she found herself in a hospital bed instead at the side of one.

“I know firsthand how scary it can be to be admitted to a hospital after a severe trauma injury,” she says. “All the doctors and nurses took such good care of me and, now that I am an emergency room physician, inspired me to do the same.”

A local girl who grew up in Mayfield playing hockey, Dr. Durdella earned an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame College and a medical degree from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She now lives—and works—in Chardon. “There really is a family feel at UH Geauga Medical Center as the majority of the staff lives in the area and wants to serve our community,” she says.

The only emergency department in Geauga County, UH Geauga Medical Center delivers 24-hour emergency care to adult and pediatric patients. As a Level I Stroke Center, Level I STEMI (heart attack care) and Level III Trauma Center, it is equipped with the most advanced technology and is staffed by a team of multidisciplinary specialists.

The emergency providers are able to work with more than 400 physicians in 50-plus medical specialties to diagnose and treat a patient with an emergency condition.

“We often use ultrasound to aid in our diagnostics,” Dr. Durdella says. “Using leading-edge ultrasound devices, we can diagnose congestive heart failure versus COPD exacerbation, quickly rule out blood in the abdomen or around the heart in a trauma setting, and so much more.”

“The two main reasons people usually go to an emergency room are because they are afraid something bad is happening to them or they are in pain,” she says. “We are here to help them by either providing reassurance or helping them get to the right specialist to fix the underlying problem.”

The hospital is fully staffed 24/7. The ER department also works with pharmacists, radiology technicians and laboratory technicians to provide the best patient care. UH Geauga Medical Center is also a training location for the UH Regional residency program, so there are residents who rotate through the department and help care for patients.

To enhance life-saving care, UH Geauga Medical Center, in conjunction with the UH EMS Institute, trains EMS providers in emergency care protocol. Working closely with the region’s EMS providers, the emergency room physicians provide medical direction for more than 30 local EMS squads.

“During the summer, we see more trauma injuries as people are outdoors and more active,” Dr. Durdella says. “So it is important to remember safety tips when in pools, to wear a helmet when four-wheeling, and always wear your seat belt in the car to avoid serious injuries.”

UH Geauga Medical Center is located at 13207 Ravenna Road, in Chardon. For more information on whether to go to an emergency room, urgent care center, primary care doctor or virtual appointment, visit

Free Health Screenings
Visit University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center on Saturday, June 29, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., for a family-friendly community event to celebrate wellness with free health screenings, educational activities and demonstrations.

Walk-up health screenings include balance and grip, blood pressure, bone density, carpal tunnel, depression, non-fasting cholesterol/glucose, pulmonary function test and wellness.

Pre-registered health screenings include carotid artery ultrasound, mammogram*, memory, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and skin cancer.

For more information or to pre-register for a screening, call 440-901-6564.

*The screening mammogram at UH Geauga Medical Center’s event is a pre-scheduled screening with appointment needed. Screening mammograms are usually covered annually at 100% by most insurance providers.