Robert J. Gajarski, MD

Robert Gajarski

Contact Information


Robert J. Gajarski, MD, MHSA, FAAP, FACC, is Section Chief of the Heart Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. After completing fellowship, his clinical focus has been in the cardiac ICU and patients with heart failure requiring advanced therapies including mechanical support and transplantation. Previously, he was on faculty at the University of Michigan where, as the medical director of the cardiac ICU, he focused on improving clinical outcomes and quality improvement efforts minimizing preventable harm. Within the transplantation arena, he led initiatives including implementation of antibody desensitization protocols and the country’s first ABO-incompatible transplant program. Before relocating to Nationwide Children's, Dr. Gajarski completed a master’s degree in Health Services Administration with emphasis on health policy, healthcare finance and quality improvement (IHI/Lean-Six Sigma). At Nationwide Children's, in addition to Section Chief, Dr. Gajarski also serves as the Heart Center’s chief quality officer. Within the quality domain, he participates on multiple hospital quality committees including steering committee membership on the institutional diagnostic error taskforce and improved provider-staff communications workgroup. He was recently appointed as the institutional medical director of quality and works closely with hospital leadership (OCMO) and the hospital quality improvement services department. Dr. Gajarski’s areas of clinical research include cardiac transplantation, health care reform and quality improvement science; he has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, invited papers and book chapters. Nationally, he has served on several heart failure and transplant committees and well as quality improvement consortia including President of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Society (PHTS). Currently, he is on the Leadership Steering Committee for the ACTION (Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics to Improve Outcomes Network) network, is co-director for its quality improvement initiatives, the PHTS-ACTION liaison for quality improvement and an associate editor for the Pediatric Quality and Safety Journal. Dr. Gajarski holds the Andy Paxton Endowed Chair in Cardiology.

Academic and Clinical Areas
Awards, Honors & Organizations
  • Outstanding Teacher in Cardiology, AOA, 1987
  • Listed, Best Doctors in America
  • Member, Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics to Improve Outcomes Network, 2017 - Present
  • Member, Pediatric Heart Transplant Society, 1988 - Present

Date of Appointment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital: 09/01/2015

Board Certifications
  • Pediatric Cardiology
Fellowship Texas Children's Hospital Date Completed: 06/30/1995
Fellowship Texas Children's Hospital Date Completed: 06/30/1994
Residency University of Virginia Date Completed: 06/30/1991
Graduate School University of Michigan Date Completed: 08/15/2014
Medical School University of Oklahoma Health Science Center Date Completed: 06/05/1988