University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center helps to take care of women through all the stages of life

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The providers that comprise the Geauga Women’s Specialties department, located within University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, encourage women aged from teen to senior to get on a healthy track. Pictured above left to right are Paula Usis, MD, Lori Mullen, MD, Denise Lentz-Hartup, DO, Andrea Ward, MD, Jennifer Miller, MD, and Stephanie Pesicek, CNP. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Ken McEntee

Summertime is usually easier living for most; a time with family and friends and outdoor activities. With this slower, relaxed pace, it’s the perfect time for women to pay more attention to themselves. No matter the age—single or married, a mother or not—women have unique health and wellness needs.

“Women tend to make most health care decisions for their families,” observes Paula Usis, MD, an OB/GYN with Geauga Women’s Specialties at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center. “But you can’t take care of everybody else when you’re not taking care of yourself. It is essential that women understand the importance of caring for themselves.”

UH Geauga Medical Center has a patient-centered care approach and the providers at Geauga Women’s Specialties encourage women aged from teen to senior to get on a healthy track. They are all women taking care of women.

“An annual visit to your OB/GYN is a good place to start, beginning at age 18,” emphasizes OB/GYN Lori Mullen, MD.

An exam will include the basics—height, weight, and blood pressure—all of which give an indication of overall health. Your women’s health provider will also perform a physical exam and recommend preventive health screenings, such as a pap smear for cervical cancer screening, STD testing, and a mammogram or bone density screening based on your age, lifestyle and family history.

“The most common cancers that affect women, such as breast and cervical cancer, are typically very treatable when they are diagnosed in the early stages,” Dr. Usis says. “That’s why early screening is so important.”

Recent changes in Pap smear recommendations have caused confusion, according to Jennifer Miller, MD, an OB/GYN with Geauga Women’s Specialties.

“There is a common misconception that since a Pap test is now recommended every five years that you should only see your gynecologist every five years,” Dr. Miller says. “Another common misconception is that you don’t need to see your GYN if you’re not pregnant. In reality, an annual visit is always strongly recommended.”

An OB/GYN provider can take the lead in many preventive health screenings, but women should also have a primary care provider to help complete their health care needs.

While the goal of preventive care is to find small health issues before they become big problems, the providers of Geauga Women’s Specialties also offer a full range of obstetric and gynecologic care at UH Geauga Medical Center.

The Labor and Delivery unit has experienced nurses, anesthesiologists and obstetricians available 24/7. Patients labor, deliver and recover in the same room, which provides great continuity of care. UH Geauga Medical Center has one of the lowest cesarean section rates and is able to offer vaginal births after C-sections, a service many community hospitals can’t provide.

Dr. Mullen assures that the group offers 24-hour care, which is particularly important during labor and delivery. “We don’t assign our patients to other practices when it’s time to go home,” she says. “Our patients always have access to somebody who knows about them.”

Another standout for UH Geauga Medical Center is the wide variety of gynecologic options available, such as minimally invasive surgeries, particularly laparoscopic hysterectomies. Geauga Women’s Specialties also works closely with specialists in infertility and gynecologic oncology. Patients with a gynecologic cancer diagnosis are able see Dr. Steven Waggoner, a gynecologic oncologist at UH Seidman Cancer Center at UH Geauga Medical Center, for cancer care services close to home. This has been an invaluable resource for many patients, allowing them to get specialized care in close coordination with their primary OB/GYN.

Women’s health providers are in a position to develop long-term relationships with patients and remain an invaluable resource at any stage of life.

You can schedule your appointment by visiting, or by calling 440-901-1713. University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center is located at 13207 Ravenna Road, in Chardon.