Anticipating the needs of the future, Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, will launch the first Cardiovascular Technology (CVT) graduate degree program in the nation. Drawing on Geneva’s long-standing affiliation with INOVA Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., the program offers students a M.S. degree in Cardiovascular Sciences. Geneva’s incoming freshmen will now 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. The program will launch in the fall 2008 semester. Cardiovascular technologists have become vital in the growing trend toward non-surgical solutions for a variety of cardiovascular diseases. “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,” says Dr. Daryl Sas, chair of Geneva’s Department of Biology. A major goal of the program, according to CVT Program Coordinator Dr. David Essig, is that the M.S.-trained student will become recognized as “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. Under this program, which is one of two in the nation granting B.S. degrees, students from Geneva have enjoyed a very high rate of job placement. The new M.S. degree builds on this program, offering training in electrophysiology. Considered by many to be the fastest-growing area in cardiology today, electrophysiology deals with the insertion of pacemakers and laser surgery on the electrical system of the heart muscle. Electrophysiological procedures are in high demand, yet there are no professional programs devoted to formal training in this area of CVT. INOVA Fairfax Hospital has been an outstanding training environment for Geneva College students. Many of the same students who graduated from the program have been employed by INOVA, some for as long as 20 years. The cardiology unit in the hospital has grown in national prominence and now ranks 21st out of 1,500 hospitals in the latest US News and World Report rankings. These facilities and staff were also a critical component in the recent 10 year re-accreditation of the Geneva College Program in CVT earlier this year. Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies.