Greg Fermann, MD, an associate professor in UC’s Department of Emergency Medicine, was recently named the department’s executive vice chairman. He also serves as vice chair of strategic planning for the department and directs the department’s Center for Clinical Trials.
A graduate of the College of Medicine, Fermann completed his residency at the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix and served as chief resident his senior year. In 1996, he returned to his hometown of Cincinnati to join the UC faculty and serve as attending emergency physician at Jewish Hospital and University Hospital.
How has UC’s Department of Emergency Medicine changed since you’ve come to UC?
"Since I joined, we’ve expanded from a single-ED academic group, where our primary mission was at University Hospital, to our role now where we’re running several different clinical sites. Our department’s physicians practice at Jewish Hospital, West Chester Hospital and University Hospital. For a long period of time we also operated at Christ Hospital and I ran our operation there.
"I’ve seen many changes in our academic mission as a whole, and our clinical mission in particular has grown. We’ve become very focused on our patient population. We’re trying to develop the patient experience at University Hospital and expand its mission as a teaching hospital, a safety-net hospital and a quaternary care hospital. We would like to see the most critically ill and injured patients in the Tristate area come to UH.
"That requires great communication with the administration at University Hospital. We have a great relationship with James Kingsbury, Dr. Brian Gibler, Nancy Barone and Dr. John Deledda, all of whom are determined to create a high quality experience for our patients.
"We’re focused on fostering the communication between physicians—those attending-to-attending conversations—and eliminating confusion and delay. We want our UC Health referring physicians to understand that we are actively involved in their patients’ care.”
How do you see other aspects of the department growing in the future?
"The clinical trials center is a large part of our operation in the ED. We have a group of 23 clinical study associates helping with patient screenings and recruitment, five clinical coordinators and 12 MD investigators.”
"Most recently, we’ve concentrated on expanding our industry relationships. We recruit subjects with diseases and conditions that present acutely to the emergency department: for example, skin infections, acute heart failure syndrome, acute coronary syndrome, angioedema and acute neurologic emergencies.
"We’re broadening the scope of our clinical mission. For example, with Brad Evans DO, we direct the Hospitalist program at West Chester—having hospitalists in our department helps to coordinate patient care between the emergency department and inpatient units. Also, several of our faculty have additional expertise in critical care specialties.
"The specialty of emergency medicine as a whole has seen a continued evolution. We treat all types of patients, regardless of their ability to pay or what condition they have.
"It’s estimated that 50 percent of patients admitted to American hospitals come through the emergency department. That number is closer to 75% if you look at admissions to critical care units. It’s the place where most practitioners send their patients and, really, the front door of the health care system.”
What do you do outside of your time at UC?
"I live Anderson Township with my wife, Gretchen, who is also a UC COM graduate and currently practices gynecology with Seven Hills Women’s Centers.
"We have four children, ages 7 to 15 years old. When I’m not working I enjoy running and playing golf, but I’m usually following the kidsaround in their activities—cross-country, soccer and gymnastics."