Public Administration Alumnus Frank Phillips is a Prehospital Care Coordinator with Allegheny Health Network Alumni Profile
Meet Frank Phillips '19
- Job Title & Employer
- Prehospital Care Coordinator, West Penn Hospital | Allegheny Health Network
- Public Administration
- Creighton, Pa.
- High School
- Deer Lakes High School
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Playing ice hockey on a nonprofit team, Pittsburgh Icemen, which is made up of public safety personnel from the area; golfing, hiking, trying new restaurants around town, spending time with my two children and two German shepherds
"Point Park provided the path I needed to be successful in my career. All I had to do was follow that path, even during the trying times of being a college student. This path provided the resources, tools and guidance from professors to ensure I left Point Park a better student. I believe I will always be a student, and I will never stop learning."
What drew you to the emergency medical services field?
I grew up in a family full of nurses, and my grandfather was one of the first paramedics in my hometown. He started doing the work when EMS was still based out of a funeral home. He passed away when I was 6 years old, but he is still my hero. He was involved with law enforcement. He was a paramedic and a volunteer firefighter. Every day I strive to be half the man he was. He is the reason why I wanted to become a paramedic.
When I was in high school, I became an EMT and junior volunteer firefighter. When I graduated, I became a paramedic and worked in Natrona Heights, but I soon realized I wanted to take my career further. I started working with the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, where Assistant Chief Mark Pinchalk was collecting data on our crashing patient protocol to facilitate better patient outcomes. I helped a team of people teach our paramedics the crashing patient algorithm, during which we advised our paramedics to stay on scene longer to treat patients and provide what they needed on the scene, instead of transporting them to the hospital immediately. We saw great improvement in our patients, and Mr. Pinchalk presented our findings to state officials, which resulted in an update to protocol statewide.
Why did you choose Point Park?
When I completed that research into crash patient protocol, I realized I needed to get my bachelor's degree to excel further in this field. I wanted to continue to grow. Through my work at the city, I met Roy Cox, an adjunct faculty member at Point Park who teaches in the public administration program. He is the reason why I went to Point Park. He connected me with Robert Skertich, Ph.D., professor and program director. I enrolled, and I was so grateful my paramedic training transferred over and covered all of my electives. Point Park understands the time, hard work and dedication that go into becoming a paramedic, and they honor that work you've already put into your career. The way the classes were set up, the online program worked so well with my schedule, and Point Park's flexibility really contributed to my success.
Describe your current role.
I am the prehospital care coordinator specifically for West Penn Hospital. I am basically a middle man between the hospital and EMS teams. I do a lot of outreach, education, research and travel related to the field. I also manage quality assurance to make sure paramedics are giving appropriate care.
What are some of the initiatives you've pursued?
In 2020, I created a new program here at the hospital in partnership with our burn unit. We changed how burn patients are received from our EMS partners. We created a small but effective team response with ER staff and burn unit staff to better care for these patients. I developed a lecture I present on prehospital burn management throughout the region to educate others working in the field. For every burn patient that is brought to West Penn, I give a patient follow-up to the crew who took care of them. As a result of this program, we have seen an increase in our patient census and improved prehospital burn management. Due to our findings from this program, I presented at the American Burn Association 2022 Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
Right now, I am exploring the treatment of patients who are pulled from house fires. These patients typically have some form of acute cyanide poisoning. It is the early stages, but we are looking to have hydroxocobalamin, a treatment for cyanide toxicity, on our helicopters and response vehicles. I am also working to bring quarterly training to West Penn Hospital to educate our teams on best practices for care of pregnant patients and their babies during delivery, neonatal patients, burn patients and patients experiencing a cardiac event.
It is extremely important to me that my education and experience is helping to improve the field of prehospital care. Seeing positive patient outcomes from this is why I continue to increase my education. Point Park laid the foundation for me to keep learning and be a better provider.
How did Point Park set you up for career success?
All of the professors were great, especially Dr. Cox and Dr. Skertich, and having the ability to work on the material at my own pace was very helpful. Point Park set me up to be where I am today with my academic career, and set me up to keep going. I am enrolled at George Washington University for my Master of Public Health degree, after which I hope to pursue my MBA at Point Park. I learned habits and practices at Point Park that I apply to my continuing education, such as time and workload management, how to write solid papers and how to study. I wasn't a good high school student, and I never thought I would be where I am now, pursuing my master's and working in a management role.
Point Park provided the path I needed to be successful in my career. All I had to do was follow that path, even during the trying times of being a college student. This path provided the resources, tools and guidance from professors to ensure I left Point Park a better student. I believe I will always be a student, and I will never stop learning.