December 2004

Forbes Regional Vice President
Brings Energy and Vision to Monroeville Hospital

by John Fries

Just a few years ago, Rob Scoskie was a senior executiveÑand a rising starÑat Schering-Plough, one of the countryÕs top pharmaceutical corporations. He was successful, innovative, a hard worker, and full of ideasÑin short, the kind of person youÕd refer to a "someone whoÕs going places."

And youÕd be correct. When the opportunity arose, Scoskie knew exactly where he wanted to go. He packed his bags, moved to Pittsburgh, and in May 2002, joined the administrative staff at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, PA as vice president, business development and operations.

In his role, Scoskie oversees strategic business development and has operational responsibility for surgical services, pharmacy, supply management and general support services. A conversation with him reveals a strong enthusiasm for his job and a genuine love for the region he now calls home.

So why did he choose Forbes Regional? The answer can be summed up in two words: Tom Senker. Senker is president and CEO at Forbes Regional, and a longtime mentor to Scoskie, who said he has learned much from his boss. In fact, this is the second time the two have worked together. Several years ago, Scoskie served under Senker at Monongalia Health System in Morgantown, WV. At the time, Scoskie was the systemÕs director of strategic planning, business development and managed care operations.

"After working in the corporate world, I wanted to return to a community setting," said Scoskie. "Knowing that Tom was here made the decision a no-brainer for me. "

One of the things he said heÕs learned from Senker is how to work smart. "Healthcare is an industry with which everyone intersects and has a personal experience," he said. "Tom and I share the same outcome orientation, with regard to staff management. He helps me to understand what motivates people, which is very important in a service industry like this. IÕm not a workaholic, but IÕm very focused, and thatÕs enabled me to get ahead in a very short time."

Forbes Regional has a long history in the Monroeville community. Initially an independent facility, it was absorbed by the former Forbes Health System several years ago. Today, as part of the West Penn Allegheny Health System, it continues to grow to meet the needs of the community it serves.

ThatÕs ScoskieÕs area; he currently oversees a number of projects, one of which is the expansion of the emergency department. On a tour of the area, he shows where new rooms and equipment will be added, including some innovative features that will greatly enhance the already state-of-the-art department.

"IÕm here at the right time," he said. "WeÕre building on success. ItÕs a more challenging environment, finding ways to do more in a hospital thatÕs doing well."

He said he also derives satisfaction from working in a hospital that is community based, yet is part of a larger health system. "ItÕs a great atmosphere," he said. "Culturally, the hospitals are distinct, but we all have the same end goal of providing excellent care for patients, and giving them the opportunity to maintain choice in health care. The system also provides its employees with wonderful opportunities for growth and advancement."

One issue Scoskie feels strongly about is the role his age group plays in defining how health care will evolve. "The folks who need to be aggressively debating the future of health care programs are 30-something." He adds that it would be great to build a network of young health care executives who could meet, talk, plan and share ideas. "We need a forum that allows dicussion. Silence equals acceptance."

He also believes that patients need to be educated consumers, and stressed the importance of competition. "At the end of the day, IÕm a free market guy. Healthy competition is important, and there needs to be a level playing field. However, although weÕre in a capital market, we canÕt lose our compasion."

Scoskie was born and raised in New York State, 20 miles from the Canadian border. "I started playing hockey when I was four years old," he said.

He holds a bachelor of science degree in genetics and human development and an MPA in health services administration from Cornell University. When not working, Scoskie, who lives in Shadyside, spends his time with his girlfriend (whom he met in Pittsburgh) and enjoys going to places where he can listen to live music

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Copyright © 2005 by John Fries, Pittsburgh, PA.
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