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Pictured is Benjamin Shopland. Submitted photo.

Meet Benjamin Shopland '22

Job Title & Employer
Manager, In Home Urgent Care Plus, UPMC Innovative Homecare Solutions
Major
Health Care Administration and Management-M.S.
Hometown
Indiana, Pa.
High School
Indiana Area Senior High School
Now Living In
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies & Interests
Kayaking, hiking, singing, woodworking and gardening

"The undergraduate public administration and organizational leadership programs, as well as the MBA in health systems management and graduate programs in health care administration and management and organizational leadership, make Point Park an excellent option for EMS professionals looking to advance at any level."

Benjamin Shopland '22

Describe your career journey and what led you to Point Park. 

I took the long way to a health care career, starting as a music major at Duquesne University. As a freshman, I took an EMT class and really enjoyed it. After I finished my degree, I started working as an EMT and soon enrolled in a paramedic program at CCAC. After five years in 911 response, I became a flight paramedic with STAT MedEvac. STAT is part of a large health system, and my six years there exposed me to the high quality of care that is possible with a well-integrated emergency response system. I realized that advancement in emergency medical services will come from providing better healthcare through innovation and integration. I enrolled in the health care administration and management program at Point Park to position myself as a contributor to that change and develop the skill set to move into a management role. Halfway through my degree, I accepted a role launching and managing an innovative program leveraging paramedicine and telemedicine to deliver definitive emergency care in the home to avoid hospital transport. 

What are the key benefits of Point Park's Health Care Administration and Management program?

For a Pittsburgh resident and full-time paramedic, Point Park’s program perfectly combined the benefits of a local university and a physical campus with the flexibility of asynchronous online classes. Networking makes a big difference in healthcare careers, so choosing a local school for my master’s degree was a priority for me. 

How did the program prepare you for your current role? 

EMS education emphasizes skills. If you can’t secure the airway or get an IV, the patient doesn’t get one. Management is a skill set of its own, and great paramedics don’t always make good leaders. I wanted to make sure I learned and developed leadership skills to complement my clinical experience. Point Park’s program has been a perfect fit because my current role is managing a staff of paramedics within a large health care system, which is a unique arrangement. Learning how to speak both “languages” has been invaluable. 

What skills have you gained from the program that are applicable to your job?

I have never thought of myself as a math or finance person, so I was surprised to find the cost allocation process so interesting in my accounting class. As part of an ROI calculation for my department, I was asked to calculate the cost per patient visit for our mobile urgent care team, accounting for the impact of fixed and variable costs to predict how per-visit costs will change as our patient volume grows. This is something my years of clinical experience never prepared me for, but I was able to handle it because of my education at Point Park. It is essential for clinicians moving into a management role to pursue education in management. 

Are there any specific faculty members who have had a positive impact on you?

Linda Hoffman, Ph.D., J.D., is a favorite. She is a multi-talented professional in her own right, and she puts so much energy into providing quality feedback on assignments, encouraging her students to pursue publication. She also happens to be a certified EMT. I was pleasantly surprised to find her in the audience of a presentation I gave recently at a regional EMS conference! 

Why would you recommend Point Park to a prospective student?

The students and professors in the MHA program come from such varied backgrounds of clinical and non-clinical roles and bring many perspectives to discussions. The professors allow a lot of flexibility in the focus of assignments, so my classmates and I have been able to tailor our research to connect with our own goals and specialties while learning where those fit into the broader healthcare system.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would encourage more paramedics to pursue higher education. Our profession needs leaders and innovators with the skills to articulate their ideas and put them into action. The undergraduate public administration and organizational leadership programs, as well as the MBA in health systems management and graduate programs in health care administration and management and organizational leadership, make Point Park an excellent option for EMS professionals looking to advance at any level.

Connect with Benjamin Shopland '22


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