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Milton S. Hershey Medical Center names Harbaugh chief medical officer

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center appointed Dr. Robert Harbaugh to the position of chief medical officer, effective March 25. He has served in the role on an interim basis since April 2023. Harbaugh will also continue to support the outpatient practices affiliated with Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

As chief medical officer, Harbaugh provides executive-level leadership for Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s physician teams, driving growth, collaboration and efficiency in clinical services.

“Dr. Harbaugh’s leadership and extensive knowledge of the Penn State Health system, its workforce and the health care needs of people in our region has helped us drive growth, collaboration and efficiency in clinical services this past year,” said Don McKenna, Hershey Medical Center president.

Harbaugh became the first Penn State College of Medicine graduate to return as a department chair, following his 2003 appointment as professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. He also served as director of Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences and is a professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State. Prior to joining the Department of Neurosurgery at the College of Medicine, he served as director of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke Program, Neurosurgical Laboratory and neurological surgery residency program.

His awards and achievements include being named a University Distinguished Professor, Penn State Alumni Fellow, Director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, Chair of the ACGME Review Committee for Neurological Surgery, numerous other national leadership positions and the recipient of the Cushing Medal. He has also served on the board of directors of Hershey Medical Center, as well as the Lebanon Valley College and St. Joan of Arc School boards.

After earning his medical degree from Penn State College of Medicine, Harbaugh completed his general surgery internship and neurological surgery residency at Dartmouth-affiliated hospitals.

“Dr. Harbaugh brings an extraordinary level of experience excelling in aspects of our missions of clinical care, teaching and research to the chief medical officer role,” said Dr. Ken Wood, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Penn State Health. “He will be essential to the development of Penn State Health as an integrated academic health care delivery system.”

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