Advanced Response Unit

Emergencies happen when you least expect them. At UPMC Passavant, the experts you need are ready to help.

Day or night, highly trained Emergency Department doctors, nurses, and other professionals are prepared to deliver the best possible emergency care to patients of all ages.

“Emergency care is about being prepared for the unexpected at all times,” says Jonathan Landis, MD, chief, Emergency Services, UPMC Passavant. “We are ready and able to handle any type of emergency, at any hour.”

Each year, the Emergency Department (ED) staff at UPMC Passavant–McCandless and UPMC Passavant–Cranberry provide care to nearly 60,000 adults and children from throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. This includes northern Allegheny, Beaver, and Butler counties. The care team includes board-certified emergency medicine doctors, physician assistants, emergency-trained critical care nurses, and advanced patient care technicians.

As a tertiary care center, UPMC Passavant is fully equipped to provide advanced care and treatment for emergencies like heart attacks and strokes. ED doctors have access to leading medical and surgical specialists. This includes the ability to consult via telemedicine with experts at the UPMC Stroke Institute and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

“We are part of a network with the top UPMC specialists available,” says Susan Hoolahan, RN, president, UPMC Passavant. “Services like our advanced response unit and affiliations, such as our pediatric emergency medicine partnership with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, help ensure our already excellent Emergency Departments in McCandless and Cranberry provide patients with the right care, in the right way, at the right time, every time.”

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Mobile Advanced Response Unit: Extra Care on the Go


UPMC Passavant Emergency Services extend beyond the ED doors. In October 2021, the hospital launched a mobile advanced response unit (ARU). The unit provides crucial support to local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies and advanced care for patients.

The ARU, stationed at UPMC Passavant-Cranberry, is a sport utility vehicle equipped with special medical equipment. The ARU staff responds to emergency situations that require extra support.

“We’re providing an extra set of hands and an extra level of care,” says Alan Shapiro, DO, medical director, Pre-Hospital Care, UPMC Passavant.

Dr. Shapiro, a former paramedic, says UPMC Passavant worked in collaboration with local EMS leaders in the northern region to address a critical need for additional support in covering a large service area.

Unlike other programs in the region, certified advanced care providers make up the ARU staff. The team includes:

  • Experienced paramedics.
  • Pre-hospital registered nurses with intensive care and emergency experience.
  • STAT MedEvac flight nurses and paramedics.

The ARU’s Role: An Added Level of Support

“Calls requiring multiple ambulance responses can strain EMS resources,” Dr. Shapiro says. “The ARU provides extra support for critical patients without taxing EMS systems and possibly delaying care to other patients in the community.”

Because the ARU is stationed at UPMC Passavant–Cranberry, team members are available to assist in the ED there. In the field, they can help treat patients and even accompany them to the UPMC Passavant ED.

“We are helping to free up other EMS crews and provide a higher level of care to patients, stabilizing them in the field, and delivering them to the appropriate ED for care,” Dr. Shapiro says. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The ARU at UPMC Passavant serves the communities of:

  • Cranberry.
  • Eastern Beaver County.
  • Harmony.
  • Mars.
  • McCandless.
  • Northern Allegheny County.
  • Seven Fields.
  • Zelienople.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.