Scott Roberts, MS, BSN, RN, is living a career path heavily influenced by family.
The 2019 Excellence in Leadership Award winner blends the caregiving traits of his parents with the business acumen of an uncle in his role as nurse manager for two departments at Martha Morehouse Outpatient Care.
"Scott is one of the younger managers at Morehouse. However, he has this innate ability to lead others by being transparent and having open communication with all," says nurse Patricia Kincaid. "One doesn't often see such dedication in such a young leader. He certainly has a feel for how to lead people and make them reach their true potential."
Tell us a little about yourself.
I received my bachelor's degree in nursing from The Ohio State University College of Nursing after transferring from Youngstown State University. At Youngstown State, I was exploring a degree in business administration, but I quickly realized that I wanted to pursue a career focused on helping others and working collaboratively with colleagues to help others.
After obtaining my degree, I worked as a staff RN on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, became the assistant nurse manager of the Acute Leukemia Unit at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute and obtained my master's degree in nursing administration and health system management. I then accepted the role of clinic nurse manager of the Cutaneous Clinic at The James Cancer Hospital, located in the Martha Morehouse Outpatient Care Tower.
Where are you from originally and what led you to Ohio State?
I am from Youngstown, Ohio. I was always drawn to Ohio State due to its far-reaching grasp within the state. I wanted to get out of Northeast Ohio and believed that studying at Ohio State would allow me the opportunity to do that.
What drew you to the field and the role you play at the medical center?
My mother is an OR nurse and my father also held a position in the medical field. My ignorance and stubbornness prevented me from realizing my desire to pursue a career in the medical field until I was a college student. Then it clicked and I realized that the opportunities in the field, particularly in nursing, were profound.
Nursing has allowed me to work collaboratively with others, further develop my interest in organizational business and learn on a daily basis, all while working toward the common goal of helping patients. In my current role as nurse manager of the Cutaneous Clinic and the Voice and Swallowing Disorders Clinic, I am continually reminded of the reason why I got into nursing, and continuously challenged to better myself professionally to provide the best possible experience for our patients, our staff and our organization.
Where do your leadership skills come from? How have you developed them?
My leadership skills come from my family and colleagues. When I was growing up, I had an uncle who was an extremely well-respected and successful business executive. I always viewed him as a role model. What I learned from him was the importance of treating people well and challenging those around him to improve. Having that as my foundation, I have been able to build upon that and learn ways to further hone my leadership style from my colleagues.
I have continued to develop these skills by seeking out opportunities to lead workgroups and partake in meetings that include very well-respected leaders in the organization. I like to challenge myself and put myself in situations outside of my comfort zone so I can continue to adapt and grow professionally.
What does being a leader mean to you? How do you demonstrate that in your position?
Being a leader to me means being genuine, authentic and accountable. Health care is a constantly evolving landscape. In order to persevere through that, we have to care for our patients and each other with authenticity and sincerity by holding ourselves and our colleagues accountable. I demonstrate that in my position by communicating openly with the patients we serve and the staff who care for them, celebrating successes and identifying opportunities for improvement.
Which of the medical center's core values do you most identify with and why?
I have found that demonstrating empathy to those with whom I communicate allows me to have a better perspective and understanding of situations. With that, I am able to better understand the needs of that person and identify creative solutions to meet his/her needs.
What's the most important aspect of your job?
Providing the support and guidance to the staff providing patient care. Patient care is at the core of everything that we do. Understanding that, I view my position as one that allows me to support, guide and empower numerous staff members to provide the best possible care to our patients.
What's the most challenging part of your job? What's the most rewarding part?
The most challenging part of my job is finding a way to continue meeting the needs of our patients despite a constantly changing health care environment. Changes in practice and advancements in our field happen daily. While extremely exciting, it can be very challenging to keep up to ensure we are providing our patients with the most current and up-to-date information.
The most rewarding part of my job is when a patient speaks positively about a staff member who has provided exceptional care. There is nothing that I enjoy more than recognizing a care provider when a patient identifies them individually for making a difference in their journey.
What else should we know about you?
My wife, my daughters and I are all Buckeyes through and through. My wife and I both received our undergraduate degrees from Ohio State, we both work at Ohio State, I received my master's degree from Ohio State and both of my daughters were born at Ohio State.
Thank you, Scott, for improving people's lives!