Craig Sable, MD

Division of Cardiology, Attending Physician
Children's National Health System
Involved Projects:
Dr. Craig Sable has a strong commitment to global health that includes extensive clinical outreach, multiple research publications in Rheumatic heart disease (RHD), world wide telemedicine experience, leveraging his longstanding role as echocardiography director, educational portfolio mentoring over 75 fellows and other trainees and leadership roles in national and international committees and writing groups. Dr. Craig Sable has collaborated with the medical team at the Uganda Heart Institute at Mulago Hospital in Kampala Uganda, the largest public teaching hospital in Uganda, to improve the care of children with heart disease in Uganda. Dr. Sable has personally led over 20 medical/surgical missions to Mulago Hospital since 2003; the last eleven have focused on performing open-heart surgeries at the Uganda Heart Institute. He has also coordinated nine other surgical trips by teams from North America, Europe, India and Asia. Nearly 1,000 children have received life-saving care, dozens of nurses and physicians have received training, and the foundation for a self-sustainable tertiary cardiac care program in East Africa has been established. This collaboration serves as the foundation for a very productive research partnership as well. Dr. Sable provides senior mentorship for the most productive team of active RHD investigators in the United States, focusing our research on using echocardiography, task-shifting, highly portable technology and telemedicine to develop novel approaches to secondary prevention of RHD. RHD remains the most common cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in in children and young adults in the world today despite being preventable. His 95 peer reviewed publications include 25 publications in RHD, 9 as senior author. Dr. Sable has 7 additional publications in other global health topics including a 2017 manuscript on building a sustainable cardiac surgery and catheterization program in Uganda. He played a key role in the 2015 AHA scientific statement, Revision of the Jones Criteria for the Diagnosis of Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) in the Era of Doppler Echocardiography. Dr. Sable’s primary contribution to this paper, developing guidelines that redefined the role of echocardiography in subclinical carditis, was one of the two significant changes from the 1992 Jones Criteria (and is reflected in the title). Dr. Sable has established a vast telemedicine network for interpretation of echocardiograms from over 100 locations around the world, including Uganda, Morocco and Brazil.  The advanced infrastructure of the telemedicine program and echocardiography laboratory has allowed for seamless interpretation of RHD echocardiograms, ensuring that a large volume of de-identified data can be translated into timely and meaningful scientific presentations and publications. Dr. Sable has significant collaborations in the global RHD community. He served on the World Heart Federation RHD Working Group from 2011 – 2015 that developed critical RHD research priorities. Dr. Sable is the RHD program chair for the 2017 World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. Dr. Sable’s fund raising efforts have contributed to bringing in nearly $3 million of funding for global health activities to CNHS over the last 15 years.