MBA Student Recognized for Exceptional Leadership, Innovation

by Vanessa Williams | Dec 22, 2015

Dolenga Winner.Sam Platia Dave Gilfoil and Dr. Usman Shah

My plane had just landed from Chicago and as we taxied toward the gate, I took my phone off airplane mode and saw that I had a text message. It was a picture of a beautiful newborn girl with a message from one of my patients. It said simply “thanks for saving my daddy’s life.” I felt my breath caught in my throat. I had taken care of John a few years ago when he and his fiancé were about to get married. Because of his cancer diagnosis they put the wedding on hold and he went through treatment. His fiancé was by his side for the entire 6 months. Thankfully, he went into remission and stayed there, hopefully cured. They went on to get married and a few years later, they told me they were expecting. And now they wanted to see if I could come visit them. I was privileged, overjoyed and incredibly humbled. I had wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. At times like these, I remember why.

Thus began a letter of consideration by Dr. Usman Shah for the Eastern Pennsylvania Healthcare Executive Network (EPAHEN) - Hal Dolenga Emerging Leader Award.

The EPAHEN - Hal Dolenga Emerging Leader Award is presented to a current DeSales MBA student who works in healthcare who demonstrates evidence of current/potential leadership success, and is a member of good standing in the community.

Dr. Shah, currently an attending physician in Hematology & Oncology at Lehigh Valley Hospital Network in Allentown, has been an oncologist for the last nine years. Shah is actively engaged in, and passionate about, improving cancer treatment programs at LVHN. He serves on the LVHN Institutional Review Board which reviews clinical trials for approval and ensures patient/subject safety as the trials proceed. He also enrolls patients in leading edge national and industry sponsored clinical trials. Through these and other patient interactions, Dr. Shah developed the insight which has inspired some of his ground breaking research. Shah has also developed and led a multidisciplinary clinic for patients with pancreatic, liver, bile duct, and esophageal cancers – a favorite project and a true labor of love.

Two years ago, Shah decided to pursue his MBA at DeSales University with a concentration in healthcare. “My primary motivation was to understand the business and economics of medicine and I could not have made a better choice,” Shah says.

Dr. Dave Gilfoil, MBA program director, recalls that Dr. Shah was a clear standout in his accelerated business foundation course. “He seemed to balance a genuine caring for the patients with the need to improve the oncology patient’s journey and the financial impact on the patient and/her family. Indeed, Dr. Shah’s impressive resume speaks to his expertise, caring nature, and drive to be impactful in many ways. He is a natural for the Dolenga Leadership Award and the EPAHEN board is blessed to have him.”

“I am truly honored to be nominated for this award. My experience at DeSales over the last two years has been nothing short of exceptional,” says Shah.

Congratulations to Dr. Usman Shah on this achievement! DeSales MBA is proud to call him one of our own.

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Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
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