As medical director for the new Allegheny Health Network’s Brentwood Neighborhood Hospital, Dr. Bob Sobehart is still relatively new to both US Acute Care Solutions and AGHN. But he’s no stranger to leadership – or adventure.
Before coming to USACS, he was assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and also was an EM consultant for the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team and a visiting team medical liaison for the National Football League. And before that, he was a Navy physician, deployed numerous times to Iraq, including during the Battle of Fallujah, where he provided frontline medical care to more than 400 major trauma patients.
The son of an aircraft mechanic and a homemaker, Dr. Sobehart always knew he wanted to become a doctor, and particularly, an emergency medicine doctor.
“I was in the emergency department a lot as a kid,” he said. “Emergency medicine just fits my personality. I like all the different aspects of medicine, and the variety is appealing to me.”
Though nobody else in his family had a career in medicine, both his father and his sister served in the military. During his time in the service, he was supposed to go to the West Pacific but then September 11, 2001 occurred, so he was deployed to Iraq, where he was on the front lines of the Battle of Fallujah.
“Fallujah was the biggest U.S. battle since Vietnam, and our battalion saw more than 300 trauma patients in eight days,” Dr. Sobehart said. “Basically, we were stabilizing soldiers, then moving them on in a helicopter to Baghdad, then Germany, then the U.S.”
For this service, he earned a Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V.” His final military rank was Lieutenant Commander.
“Going into medicine as a general medical officer, I learned that I can take on a lot of responsibility, think on the fly, and do a lot with a limited amount of supplies under pressure,” he said. “Emergency trauma gave me a good foundation in the toughest of circumstances. I always tell my residents, ‘no matter how bad things may seem, at least you’re not getting shot at! So calm down and do what you need to do.”
Dr. Sobehart received the Clinical Educator of the Year award from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine – as well as the SAEM Excellence in Emergency Medicine. Previously, he also served as assistant professor of military and emergency medicine for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences – F. Edward Herbert School of Medicine in Maryland.
In spite of the fact that the former college football player had to hang up his roles with the NFL and NHL, a gig that allowed him to provide medical care to professional athletes on the sidelines through another healthcare organization, he’s doing incredible work at Brentwood Neighborhood Hospital.