UPMC Director of Advanced Practices Selected as Presidential Leadership Fellow

Ben Reynolds, PA-C, MSPAS, DFAAPA, Advanced Practice Manager at UPMC, was selected as Presidential Leadership Scholar, one of the first advanced practice providers to be chosen.

Every year, the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program selects professionals from all disciplines across the country to participate in a six-month advanced leadership skills course. Out of thousands of applicants, only 60 are accepted.

“It’s an honor to be selected,” Reynolds said. “Other scholars are bright, engaging, and open to discussing diverse viewpoints to find common ground.”

Participants will study the experiences of Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George HW Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson to develop their leadership and diplomatic skills. Former presidents, past and current members of the presidential cabinet, as well as experts in various fields, will participate in the program.

Participants must use their new skills to create or advance an initiative that helps their community. Reynolds intends to focus on addressing the growing opioid epidemic in the communities he and UPMC serve.

“I’ve always been very passionate about opioid use disorder and the issues that prescription opioids have played in this crisis,” he said. “Low back pain has often been cited as a gateway condition to prescription opioid disorder. In partnership with the Pitt School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, we have developed evidence-based tools to treat these patients with non-opioid alternatives. I hope to use these skills and the connections I will make with the Presidential Leadership Scholars to move this initiative forward.

Reynolds also sees this experience as beneficial to more than just his patients and his team.

“I think it’s important for UPMC to have a healthcare leader on this list because it shows how seriously we take the effect of leadership on delivering high-quality patient care. “, he continued. “As Pennsylvania’s largest employer, we also take seriously the quality of leadership we provide in all of our interactions outside of the health care setting. This has never been more important than during the pandemic.

Kevin E. Boling