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Kobelja to Assume Helm of WRNMMC

06/23/2017

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

The new director of Walter Reed National Military will be a familiar face to many at the “Flagship of Military Medicine.”

Navy Capt. Mark A. Kobelja takes the helm of WRNMMC during a change of authority ceremony June 30 at 10 a.m. in Memorial Auditorium. He will assume the directorship from Army Col. Michael S. Heimall, who is retiring after more than 30 years in uniform. The colonel has served as the WRNMMC director since May 2016. Prior to that, he was WRNMMC’s chief of staff from August to November 2015, and interim WRNMMC director from November 2015 to January 2016.

Kobelja completed his medical degree at the Uniformed Services University in 1996, and then had follow-on training in anesthesiology at the former National Naval Medical Center and pain medicine at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the predecessors of WRNMMC.
Kobelja was then assigned to NNMC as a staff anesthesiologist in 2001 where he was selected for progressive leadership assignments include department head of anesthesiology and pain medicine, chairman of the executive committee of the medical staff, and director for surgical services overseeing the integration and transition of the surgical staff of WRAMC and NNMC into WRNMMC.
In 2011, Kobelja transferred to Naval Medical Center San Diego as deputy commander and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the medical center with a staff of 7,800 personnel. In 2013, he assumed command of Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, leading a staff of 2,800. In July 2015, he was transferred to Naples, Italy for duties as U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa and U.S. Sixth fleet surgeon.
Kobelja has deployed with Task Force Middle East Force (1988), 5th Fleet Surgical Augmentation Team, Manama, Bahrain (2003), and a Forward Resuscitation Surgical System surgical team in Ar Ramadi, Iraq (2007).
He is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and holds an appointment as adjunct assistant professor at USU. He is a qualified surface warfare officer and Fleet Marine Force medical officer.