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UPMC Children’s Heart Institute Welcomes Craig P. Dobson, MD, FACC, FAHA, New Director of Cardiac Clinical Operations

January 31, 2022

Dr. Craig DobsonThe Heart Institute at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is pleased to announce Craig P. Dobson, MD, FACC, FAHA, as its new director of cardiac clinical operations. Dr. Dobson joined the Heart Institute at UPMC Children’s in November 2021.

Dr. Dobson comes to UPMC Children's after serving with distinction in the United States Army for more than two decades. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2021 as a Colonel in the Medical Corps.

Dr. Dobson earned his undergraduate degree and medical degree from George Washington University, where he graduated magna cum laude and with distinction, respectively. He attended The George Washington University as an undergraduate as a National Merit Scholar, and Presidential Honor Scholar. During his undergraduate studies, he served as a White House Intern in the Office of the Vice President of the United States during the Clinton Administration. 

His medical training continued at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where we conducted his pediatrics internship and pediatrics residency. Dr. Dobson completed his pediatric cardiology fellowship at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., as a military-sponsored fellow. Before leaving the U.S. Army, his last academic appointment was as an associate professor of Pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

"I am thrilled to be part of the UPMC Children's Heart Institute team," says Dr. Dobson. "The very high level of clinical excellence the program has achieved and the dedication and skill of its leadership team were what attracted me to the program. I am proud of my long service in the United States Army, and I am equally excited for this new opportunity to continue caring for a wide spectrum of pediatric heart patients while also helping to guide the clinical care mission of the Institute and expand upon its history of exceptional quality and outcomes.”

Clinical and Leadership Highlights

In 2003, Dr. Dobson served as a medical officer with the 82nd Airborne Division deployed to Fallujah, Iraq. In 2010, he was deployed as a squadron surgeon with the 101st Airborne Division in Kunar, Afghanistan. He was honored with a meritorious Bronze Star Medal for his exemplary service during his deployment.

In 2013, Dr. Dobson was named chief of Pediatric Cardiology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and he also held the position of chief of Pediatric Cardiology while stationed at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.

In 2017, Dr. Dobson served as Deputy Commander of Clinical Services at the U.S. Military Hospital-Kuwait, where he was responsible for directing medical and surgical care for a 25-bed hospital with 300 personnel in a forward-deployed area.

From 2018 until his retirement in 2021, Dr. Dobson served as chief of adult and pediatric cardiac genetics at Walter Reed. In 2019, he was appointed as the chief of Pediatric Subspecialty Services responsible for directing pediatric subspecialty care to armed services personnel and their families across the National Capital Region. His work entailed the management of pediatric subspecialty care at three hospitals across 11 subspecialties, with close to 30,000 patient encounters every year.

In 2021, Dr. Dobson earned the Legion of Merit Medal. This award is one of the highest honors bestowed upon service personnel for a career of distinction and service. In order of precedence it is behind only the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, and Silver Star.

Prior to leaving the Army, at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Dobson and his team at Walter Reed were charged with devising workable plans for telemedicine services in order to continue to meet the demands of the large spectrum of patients across 11 subspecialties within the Washington D.C. area. 

“This was an incredibly challenging project because each of the subspecialties that I oversaw as chief all had very distinct and differing needs in order to make telemedicine visits viable for their patient base. We relied upon the inherent abilities we all possess within the military to adapt to rapidly changing situations and find workable solutions to the challenges we face,” says Dr. Dobson.

Improving Clinical Care and Outcomes at UPMC Children’s

Dr. Dobson's vast experience within pediatrics, and pediatric cardiology, coupled with the leadership skills honed during two decades of service within the U.S. Army, will afford him the opportunity to partner with the varying divisions and specialty sections within the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's to advance its clinical care and research missions.

“I think one of the biggest assets that I bring with me to UPMC Children’s is a diverse experience across many of the areas of congenital heart disease,” says Dr. Dobson. “Having experience in and an understanding of genetics, interventional cardiology, heart failure and transplantation, and surgery, I am hopeful that over time, as I learn the inner workings of the Institute, we can continue to improve upon the exceptional work our Institute is known for nationally and internationally.”