Dr. Robert Hartnett's Passing Mourned


posted June 01, 2018

Dr. Robert W. “Doc” Hartnett, a former member of the Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board and 2010 inductee into the Athletics Hall of Fame, died at age 85 on May 26 in the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College. 

Dr. HartnettHe played two seasons as a guard on the Pitt-Johnstown basketball team at the “Asphalt Campus” on Cypress Avenue from 1954 through 1956. However, it was after becoming a physician that Dr. Hartnett truly made his mark by giving back to Pitt-Johnstown and the Greater Johnstown area.

After graduating from Greater Johnstown High School in 1950, Dr. Hartnett served his country in the US Air Force during the Korean War. He enrolled at Pitt-Johnstown in 1954 and joined the basketball team, where he, along with 2007 Hall of Fame inductee Carl Sax, guided the Mountain Cats to a spot in the Keystone Junior College Tournament. Dr. Hartnett led the team in assists during his two-year career.

In 1956, he transferred to the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his bachelor’s in pre-medicine. He entered medical school and earned his doctorate in medicine in 1961. Dr. Hartnett completed a one-year internship at Johnstown’s Memorial Hospital and began his career. He was later named Chairman of Family Practice at Memorial Hospital, a position he held until his retirement in 1986. In addition, Dr. Hartnett held the title of Memorial Hospital Chief of Staff for one year and was a member of the Board of Directors.

During this time, Dr. Hartnett began to give back to his community. He served Pitt-Johnstown, as well as several area high schools, as a team doctor for nearly 25 years where he visited the campus to examine and treat athletes. In 1984, he established the Dr. Robert W. Hartnett Scholarship Fund at Pitt-Johnstown to provide grants to aid deserving undergraduate students from the Greater Johnstown School District. His scholarship is still being awarded today.

In the late 1970s, Dr. Harnett helped to create a local chapter of the “Flying Physicians Association,” a group of certified physicians and pilots who used their own aircrafts to travel to emergency sites to aid victims in any part of the continental United States.

Dr. Hartnett was on the Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board from 1985 through 1997, and currently holds Emeritus status. He serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board of Directors of the Church of the Brethren Home in Windber. Dr. Hartnett was also active in many other community organizations, including holding a position on the Red Cross and the Cambria County Conservation Boards of Directors. 

Dr. Hartnett sponsored a team in Johnstown’s AAABA Baseball League and has been the commissioner of the AAABA National Board of Directors for more than 30 years. In 2001, he was inducted into the AAABA Hall of Fame.

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.