Skip to Content

About UPMC's Office of Advanced Practice Providers

The Office of Advanced Practice Providers (OAPP) takes a multi-pronged approach in advancing UPMC's advanced practice providers throughout the system.

What We Do for Advanced Practice Providers


  • Develops collaborative practice models and performs research into innovative and progressive health care delivery systems.
  • Oversees the development of novel educational strategies for new APPs, as well as professional training and leadership-building opportunities for currently practicing UPMC APPs.
  • Provides operational support to the various practice settings, and is the central resource in answering important questions about:
    • Scope of practice
    • Regulations
    • Billing
    • Compliance
    • APP staffing and utilization strategies
  • Works closely with human resources to help craft recruitment programs and support outreach activities to various educational institutions and at professional gatherings.
  • Maintains relationships with the various nurse practitioner and physician assistant academic programs throughout the United States to help facilitate student clinical education in UPMC facilities and practices.

Recognizing how important it is to keep our talent within the UPMC system, the OAPP will be supporting the creation of various multidisciplinary retention strategies.

Who We Are — Leadership at the Office of Advanced Practice Providers (OAPP)

Benjamin R Reynolds

Benjamin R. Reynolds, MSPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA
Chief Advanced Practice Officer, UPMC
Director, UPMC Office of Advanced Practice Providers
Co-Director, University of Pittsburgh Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical School

Ben is a physician assistant and the Chief Advanced Practice Officer for UPMC which operates more than 40 academic, community and specialty hospitals and more than 600 outpatient sites of care across Pennsylvania, western Maryland and New York. Ben directs it's Office of Advanced Practice Providers, which oversees the operational readiness and practice advancement for one of the nation's largest advanced practice workforces who provide world-class care across UPMC. In addition, he is charged with the oversight of clinical education delivery for over 1000 advanced practice provider students in nearly 2,000 clinical rotations throughout UPMC from almost 60 programs both locally and nationally. Prior to becoming a physician assistant, Ben served as a US Navy Corpsman during the first Gulf War and following his honorable discharge from the military, Ben completed his bachelor's degree in science at George Mason University then received his master's of science in physician assistant studies jointly from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Seton Hall University. As a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery with the University of Pittsburgh, Ben instructs developed the Fundamentals of Surgery course for the physician assistant program at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. He is also the Co-director of the Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Pittsburgh's Health Policy Institute. In his position with the Center, Ben champions and leads projects to put new models of interprofessional team integration into real world clinical practice as a mechanism to deliver high quality care. He has published extensively on topics related to APP administration, interprofessional team-based care and trauma surgical practice and is a frequently invited guest speaker at conferences and professional meetings. Ben is a member of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants.

Chandrika Sharma

Chandrika Sharma
Senior Project Analyst, UPMC Office of Advanced Practice Providers

Chandrika assists with OAPP Professional Affairs, APP Jump Start Program, APP Clinical Career Ladder and other Special Projects. She maintains APP database and provides healthcare leaders with data that helps influence decision making and drive results. She has been part of the UPMC family for more than seven years where she provides her expertise in healthcare management, process improvement and data analysis. In her previous position, she worked for UPMC Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) where she assisted in the design, plan and implementation of measurement studies (chart review, database review and analysis, observation, interviews, focus groups, or other means of measurement) to identify opportunities for performance and/or process improvement. She received her Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in Health Care Management from Chatham University. Prior to her graduation, she gained experience as a graphic visualizer providing creative visual concepts using different design software to communicate ideas that inspire, inform and captivate audience.

Rachel Dille

Rachel Dille
Student Educational Experience Coordinator, UPMC Office of Advanced Practice Providers

Rachel joined the OAPP in October 2021 with an extensive background as an Externship Coordinator. Her main duties as an Externship Coordinator involved vetting the medical department career training students, finding available externship sites, matching students to sites, and evaluating the student’s performance while on their rotation. She now assists the OAPP with APP student clinical rotations and the APP job shadowing program. She vets each student for clinical rotations to ensure that they submit all the required paperwork through our software system, myClinicalExchange (mCE), makes sure students follow all policies and procedures relating to acquiring clinical rotations, and gives the final UPMC approval for each clinical rotation. She assists with granting UPMC computer access to students when needed. She also works closely with students, their schools, and UPMC personnel to answer any questions that arise regarding APP clinical rotations. She vets job shadowing applicants as well and matches them with an appropriate APP to job shadow.

Kelly Cowan
Program Manager, UPMC Office of Advanced Practice Providers

Kelly has been with OAPP for over ten years and manages OAPP’s continuing education efforts for the system, including monthly grand rounds sessions and annual conferences, along with online learning offerings. She also manages OAPP’s communication strategies, including bimonthly and quarterly newsletters and internal website management, among other responsibilities. Most recently, Kelly earned a post-graduate certificate in Leadership and Organizational Change.