Department of
Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Faculty Fellow Advanced Scholarship Training (FFAST) Career Development Program

Investment in departmental faculty and fostering next generation leaders

FFAST provides financial support for department faculty to pursue advanced degrees in health fields outside anesthesiology to launch subspecialty teams. These opportunities have led to innovative research on topics such as OR management, clinical and research predictive modeling, cost savings models, and OR staffing strategies.

Education opportunities are available for faculty to earn graduate-level certificates/degrees in the following fields:

  • Business
  • Public Health
  • Clinical Research
  • Education
  • Medical Product Innovation
  • Informatics
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Quality Improvement/Patient Safety
  • Leadership

Department faculty who are interested in FFAST, please contact your site chief, Dr. Dave Metro, or Dr. Aman Mahajan with your interest and answers to the following questions:

  • What skills can you learn to help move your career in the direction you desire?
  • How can/will those skills benefit medicine/UPMC/the department?
  • What do you need to make that happen?

FFAST Scholars

Ryan Ball, MD, MBA, FASE
Dr. Ball earned an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business. His studies were focused on healthcare, included case studies on healthcare scenarios.
“I have recommended that many faculty in our department look into the FFAST program. Since completing, I have advanced from staff anesthesiologist to Associate Chief to Chief Anesthesiologist at UPMC Passavant. I am participating on many additional committees where I leverage skills that were developed in the MBA program, including interpersonal communication.”


Monica Bolland, MD
Dr. Bolland is working towards an MPH, studying epidemiology, the microeconomics of health care, and health care foundations in the US.
“I’m at the beginning of the journey into public health. My overarching goal is to add public health research and understanding to working with the population in Pennsylvania. I’m looking for ways to improve health care delivery and outcomes by looking at larger population outcomes rather than individual cases.”


Franklyn Cladis, MD
Dr. Cladis is pursuing an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Business School.
“I am still in the process of completing the MBA, but I am hopeful this program will sharpen my skills as I take on more leadership roles in healthcare.”



Trent Emerick, MD, MBA
Dr. Emerick is working towards a PhD in Health Sciences, learning how to design better research methodology to apply to the clinical care of pain patients and designing studies around new innovative medical devices. One of his research interests in the PhD program is finding ways to streamline and improve the FDA medical device approval process.


Andrea Ibarra, MD, MS
Dr. Ibarra graduated with her MS in Clinical Research from the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Clinical Research Education in the spring of 2021. Her MS thesis was titled “The Effect of Preeclampsia on Cognitive Function.”
“I obtained my MS this year and I can say it added the research foundation I was missing! It was a great opportunity to meet and collaborate with other researchers in different departments. Thank you for all the support!”


Josh Knight, MD, FASE
Dr. Knight is completing the UPMC Education Series and plans to complete the Advanced Training Program in Quality Improvement through Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, UT, a national and world leader in Healthcare Delivery Quality Improvement. His goal is to become more fluent in quality improvement measures and initiatives to guide the rollout of perioperative clinical pathways at UPMC.


Luca La Colla, MD
Dr. La Colla is pursuing an MS in Health Informatics. He is enrolled in the Data Science track, which provides tools to analyze, extract, and present data to the health care community to help health care organizations make well-informed, data-driven decisions. Additionally, it enables identification of areas of potential improvement in patient care with the goal to decrease patient morbidity, improve patient outcomes, and decrease costs for our department and health system.

“I am extremely grateful to participate in FFAST. I’ve been provided with all the support necessary to pursue this degree. This a unique opportunity that most other institutions do not have.”


Evan Lebovitz, MD, MBA
Dr. Lebovitz earned an MBA with a focus on healthcare from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business.
“Completing my MBA has sharpened my skills in practice management within anesthesiology. Through the program, I worked alongside other healthcare providers to bridge the gap between clinical innovation and entrepreneurship to create a patented medical device and a staff and data management app focused on perioperative care.”



Charles Lin, MD
Dr. Lin is earning an MS in Clinical Research from the University of Pittsburgh, working towards his thesis “Scale Development to Elucidate the Trajectory of Perioperative Neurocognitive Disorders.” His training is in advanced statistics, psychometric scale development, and registry data analysis, skills to enable him to conduct research to answer perioperative population health questions.

“Before I matriculated in this program, I was a full-time clinical anesthesiologist with research questions drawn from my clinical experience. FFAST has given me the invaluable opportunity to obtain the training and skills to answer those questions. My participation in FFAST has also provided access to strong mentorship both within and outside our department to help me succeed. I completed one first-authored manuscript within the first year of my program. It is a privilege to be a member of the great science community at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, and I appreciate all the tremendous resources available to us. FFAST is a unique opportunity for faculty to participate in professional development and it demonstrates our department's commitment to our future. My advice to any faculty member who is thinking about FFAST is to recognize the tremendous value of this program and to embrace the opportunity.”


Hari Subramanian, MBBS
Dr. Subramanian is earning an MS in Biomedical Informatics, studying implementation of data structures, computer programming, machine learning, natural language processing, gene sequencing principles, and electronic health record maintenance.
“FFAST was invaluable for me. I was able to carve out time around my schedule to work on the degree. I attend classes that are available via video conferencing on pre/post call days and the in-person lessons on my non-clinical days. The departmental financial support was generous, and I did not have to pay anything out of pocket. I appreciate the department’s effort to put this program together and for supporting my pursuit of an MS in my initial years as a faculty member.”



Former Faculty FFAST Scholars

Dennis Phillips, DO
Dr. Phillips completed the Intermountain Healthcare Advanced Training Program to earn a certificate in Healthcare Delivery Improvement.