News | July 27, 2008

Nation’s First Cardiovascular Technology Graduate Program Offered

July 28, 2008 - Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, will launch the first Cardiovascular Technology (CVT) graduate degree program in the nation.

In affiliation with INOVA Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA, the program offers students a M.S. degree in Cardiovascular Sciences. Geneva's incoming freshmen this fall will have the option of obtaining a B.S. (in four years) or a B.S./M.S. degree (in five years) in CVT. Students coming into the program with another B.S. degree can complete the M.S. in two years.

Cardiovascular technologists are allied health professionals who work directly with cardiologists to perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the laboratory setting.

"The burden on cardiologists and their support staff will only increase as the baby boomer generation ages and cardiovascular disease continues to be among the leading killers in our nation," said Daryl Sas, M.D., chair of Geneva's Department of Biology.

According to CVT Program Coordinator David Essig, M.D., a major goal of the program is that the M.S. trained student will become recognized as a "cardiologist's assistant" much like the physician's assistant.

Geneva has offered a bachelor's of science degree in CVT through INOVA for the past 30 years. In the current program, students who earn the B.S. work with cardiologists to diagnose and perform therapeutic procedures on diseased blood vessels. Most procedures are directed toward coronary arteries which, when occluded by advanced atherosclerosis, can lead to heart attack and death.

The new M.S. degree builds on this program, offering training in electrophysiology, which deals with the insertion of pacemakers and laser surgery on the electrical system of the heart muscle.

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