Robert Beto, M.D., to Lead WVU Cardiology Faculty




           MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Robert J. Beto, M.D. has been named section chief of cardiology in the West Virginia University School of Medicine. James Brick, M.D, chair of the Department of Medicine, made the appointment, which will be effective July 1.

            Dr. Beto, an interventional cardiologist who holds degrees in both medicine and pharmacy, has been a member of the WVU faculty since 2003, and has provided heart care to thousands of patients from across West Virginia since 1999.

            He will assume leadership of WVU’s growing cardiology program at a crucial time, said John E. Prescott, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “The WVU Heart Institute – including people from many parts of the School and many areas of WVU Hospitals – provides care to people from all over the state and region. Our faculty heart experts – cardiologists, surgeons, radiologists, vascular specialists, pediatric heart specialists and others – work as a team to provide each patient with the highest level of care. And the hospital has invested millions of dollars in the latest diagnostic, interventional and surgical technology so that these doctors can work at the leading edge of their profession.”

            Beto said that the high-volume heart program at WVU includes nine cardiologists. Together, they perform 1,500 or more angioplasties every year, and nearly three times that number of diagnostic heart catheterizations. “National statistics show that programs with high numbers generally have better outcomes for patients,” he said.

           Advanced technology is also important, he adds. WVU Hospitals recently acquired a 64-slice CT scanner that allows doctors to create detailed 3-D pictures of a patient’s heart. “That’s just one of a wide array of imaging tools and interventional tools that we have available,” Beto said.

            In his own practice, he often places tiny wire devices, called stents, into weak or damaged arteries of a patient’s heart – a technique that can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

            Beto credited his predecessor and former teacher, Abnash Jain, M.D., with building WVU’s strong cardiology team. Dr. Jain, who has been on the faculty for more than 30 years, led the cardiology section from 1979 until Beto’s appointment this week. “Dr. Jain is a superb mentor who teaches his fellows not only the science of cardiology, but adds the art and emotional aspects as well,” Beto said.

            Beto is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and the WVU School of Pharmacy, and completed his medical degree and advanced training in cardiology at WVU. He is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiology, and was in private practice in Morgantown before joining the faculty.

            “I missed being a part of the team,” he said. “It was a little lonely in private practice. Here, I can work with residents and fellows, communicate about a patient’s care with other colleagues, and give back some of what I have learned to people who are in training.”

            He was named a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology in 2001, and a Fellow of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions in 2003

- WVU -

For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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