UVMC ED director likes a challenge

TROY — April Anderson, M.D., loves solving problems.

As the new medical director at the UVMC Emergency Department (ED), she brings with her knowledge from working as an EMT and paramedic. Then, a love of challenges led her to medical school.

A native of New York, Dr. Anderson attended the New York Medical College, where she met her husband, Richard Anderson, who is from West Chester.

A fellowship in pediatric anesthesia led him to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. April Anderson came to Wright State University for a fellowship in faculty development and resident education and was assigned to clinical shifts at Miami Valley Hospital.

“I was really happy with Premier and Miami Valley Hospital reminded me of where I did my residency,” Dr. April Anderson said of her decision six years ago to stay with Premier Health.

She first worked with Miami Valley Emergency Specialists and took on a leadership role as medical director for the Premier Health Regional Referral Center, which handles transfers of patients into and out of the system. She later worked as the medical director of the Miami Valley North ED.

When Miami Valley Emergency Specialists was selected in late 2020 as the exclusive Emergency Department physician provider for Premier Health, she was named UVMC’s ED medical director.

“The fact we have this opportunity is so exciting for us,” Dr. Anderson said of Miami Valley Emergency Specialists.

After working as a paramedic, she said the first two years of medical school and “looking through a microscope” were not as interesting as the clinical aspects of the final two years of her medical education. “It was hands-on, which was nice, and helping people, helping them solve their problems,” she said.

While in medical school, she also obtained her master’s degree in public health, giving her the chance to “look at health care from a 30,000-foot view.”

Her paramedic work also increased her respect for those in the fire and Emergency Medical Services.

“They go to people’s homes, not knowing what they are getting into, especially this past year. I am not sure how much the public appreciates the risks they took,” Dr. Anderson said.

As UVMC ED medical director, she is charged with coordinating physician services with all other services in the ED, nursing, lab, radiology, and to coordinate the department with the rest of the hospital.

“All medical directors do a lot of work around quality, coordination of care, so the care a patient receives is the same wherever you are at in Premier,” she said.

She felt at home with the UVMC ED staff. “The medical staff has been so engaging and so welcoming. The nursing staff has been just overwhelmingly positive,” Dr. Anderson said. Many nurses have been at UMVC and the ED for 20 years or longer. “They have experience, and are willing to share it,” she said.

Because UVMC is a smaller hospital, staff know each other. “If there is a problem with a patient, the medical directors of all the services know each other and talk all the time,” she said. “It is really easy to problem solve in this setting. It is such a nice opportunity for me and a nice opportunity for Miami County. I know people don’t want to go to another city if they don’t have to.”

Richard and April Anderson are the parents of a son, Thomas, who is five. The doctors enjoy spending free time with their son or working out at the gym. Dr. Richard Anderson is the medical director for anesthesia and perioperative services at Miami Valley Hospital South.