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
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
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
"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