Mr. Forrest, EHRS
Mr. Robert D. Forrest, director of radiation safety and radiation safety officer in the department of environmental health and radiation services, died August 28 while on vacation in North Carolina. He was 46.
Raised in the Philadelphia area, Mr. Forrest earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in 1988 and his master’s of science from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in 1993.
As radiation safety officer, Mr. Forrest was responsible for all aspects of radiation safety at the University, the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Monell Chemical Senses Institute and the Wistar Institute. “Rob’s competence in coordinating his staff’s time to support ever-growing responsibilities and risks was remarkable,” said Matthew Finucane, executive director of EHRS. He participated in radiation safety education of Fellows in Radiology and was always available to advise on radiation safety matters.
Mr. Forrest’s expertise in radiation safety was recognized beyond Penn. He chaired Pennsylvania’s Radiation Protection Advisory Committee and built the respect of colleagues in academe, government and industry.
Mr. Forrest was a national leader in radiation safety, serving on and chairing committees in the Health Physics Society, and serving as president of the Delaware Valley Health Physics Society. Through his leadership in the radiation safety community, Mr. Forrest, in coordination with Penn Police, Philadelphia Police, the US Departments of Energy and Homeland Security, Penn Schools, CHOP and Wistar, instituted a program of enhanced security for radioactive materials. This effort allowed Penn to become the first private entity in the country to establish such high security and emergency preparedness.
“Mr. Forrest was a creative, thoughtful and innovative leader who had the respect of all who knew and worked with him,” said Mr. Finucane.
He is survived by his wife, Helen; his children, Bobby, Melissa and Michelle; his parents, Mary Ann Cellini Forrest and Denis E. Forrest; a sister, Barbara Filler; two brothers, Steven and Gregory; and his father–in-law, Edward Meakim.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the “Forrest Children’s Educational Fund”, C/O Edward G. Meakim Jr., 1273 Eagle Rd., West Chester, PA 19382.
A memorial service will be held at the Perelman School of Medicine’s Translational Research Center, in the Auditorium, at 3400 Civic Center Boulevard, on October 9 from 4 to 6 p.m.