New emergency department medical director named at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital

Stanley Guertal, D.O., has been named medical director of the WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital Emergency Department. He is replacing the recently retired David Burkland, M.D.

Dr. Guertal has been with the hospital since 2020 and became assistant medical director in 2021.

"I am so thankful to have the opportunity to give back to Wheeling Hospital as the ED medical director as the hospital has given so much to me,” Guertal said. “There have been a lot of tough times over the past few years in regard to COVID and staffing shortages, however, I truly believe we have come out stronger on the other side. We will continue to integrate innovative approaches to serving our patients sooner, such as through our recently implemented Vertical Care format, as well as continuing to educate staff on newer and more efficient ways of engaging in patient care delivery.”

He said the Vertical Care model focuses on patients with less severe complaints or those with issues unlikely to deteriorate but may require admission. Most of these patients do not require lying flat in a bed and are likely to be ambulatory, or “vertical.” They are taken to a care area next to the main ED.

“There the healthcare professionals can more effectively and efficiently workup, diagnose and treat conditions that would have previously involved long wait times in the waiting room,” Guertal said. “This allows dischargeable patients to go home sooner and limit their exposure time to the possibility of illnesses circulating in a hospital.”

Hospital President and CEO Douglass Harrison said, “Let me first thank Dr. Burkland for his leadership over the years. He has helped to transform our ER here at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital. With Dr. Guertal stepping into this role, I am confident in his leadership and his ability to take our ER to the next level. Dr. Guertal takes great pride in his work and the patient outcomes of our ER. He is an advocate for staff development and patient satisfaction. I feel confident our ER is in great hands moving forward.”

Guertal is a graduate of West Liberty University with a bachelor’s degree in biology, and earned his medical degree at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. His residency in emergency medicine was completed at Charleston Area Medical center.

He also is a graduate of WVU Medicine Physicians Leadership Academy.

Guertal said, “I have been blessed to have a terrific relationship with our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tony Aprea, our new Chief Nursing Officer, Jennifer Riley, and our CEO, Doug Harrison, who has truly put our Emergency Department and the job we do there serving the Wheeling area at the top of his list. We have a top notch staff of physicians, APPs and nurses who strive to improve each day. I could not ask for more."

At Wheeling Hospital, he is a member of the CEO Leadership Committee; the Medical Executive Committee; Trauma Committee; Patient Care Review Committee; Pharmacy and Therapeutics Review Committee; Stroke Care and Cardiac Care committees; Patient Advisory Council; and the quality improvement projects on ED Triage Process and ED to Outpatient Cardiac Stress Testing Protocol.