Carolyn Forcina comes from a family of educators. Her father retired as the executive vice president of Trenton State College in New Jersey (now The College of New Jersey); her mother was a grammar school teacher in the Trenton School District; and her sister is a schoolteacher.
So when Forcina was offered the opportunity to join the Salus University Board of Trustees, she saw it as natural progression of her career’s work in health policy.
“Everybody in my family is in education, so it’s always been an interest of mine,” said Forcina, vice president, government relations and education at Pandion Optimization Alliance, an association that represents hospitals in the greater Rochester, N.Y., region. “I balance that with the healthcare and health policy background. It was a perfect combination.”
Forcina spent 24 years with the American Hospital Association (AHA), the largest association representing all types of hospitals and health systems across the country. As regional executive covering Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, she served as the connection to the AHA for hospital and health system leaders in those states, engaging them in AHA advocacy activities and membership initiatives.
“I go back with Jo Surpin (current chair of the Salus Board of Trustees) because of my work with hospital associations,” said Forcina. “I’ve admired her tremendously because she simply was the pioneer in creating the Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) system (a patient classification system that standardizes prospective payment to hospitals and encourages cost containment initiatives) and she has been a respected leader and innovator in the hospital field. She asked me if I would like to be on the Salus University board and I thought it would be a nice combination of my interests.”
Surpin is happy to have Forcina aboard.
“Carolyn will be a great addition to the board,” she said. “Having worked at AHA in a regional capacity, she understands healthcare providers and has valuable healthcare experience that will benefit our programs. We are excited that she has agreed to serve on the board.”
Forcina attended her first board meeting in January 2020 and was impressed with what she saw.
“First of all, the folks around the table – the other board members – are a very impressive group of people,” said Forcina, who will serve on the Health Services Committee (HSC). “The things that were brought to the board, (such as the new orthotics program) and combining the colleges into one (CHER)
are terrific moves. The action steps taken and under consideration were just spot on. Salus leadership is taking the University where it needs to be for the future, building on the University’s rich history and academic excellence.”
After leaving AHA, Forcina also worked in telehealth for about a year.
“I certainly learned quite a bit in that field before I was recruited to go to Pandion,” she said. “I know that there’s interest to continue to incorporate that into the Salus curriculum. So I hope to be able to contribute in that area.”