Rural Health Leader Larry Rhodes, M.D. Joins the Board of the Benedum Foundation
PITTSBURGH (September 17, 2019) – Larry A. Rhodes, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist and one of the nation’s leading advocates for rural children’s health, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. He will join the board on January 1, 2020. He replaces Robert B. Walker, M.D., who has stepped down after 11 years of service on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. As Trustee Emeritus, Dr. Walker will continue his commitment to the region and the Foundation.
Dr. Rhodes has served as a Professor of Pediatrics in the West Virginia University School of Medicine since 2005 and is the founding director of the University’s Institute for Community and Rural Health. He was honored by the National Rural Health Association as its Rural Practitioner of the Year. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Cardiology. A graduate of Alderson Broaddus College, he received his medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine and completed his residency at WVU Hospital. After fellowships at Boston Children’s Hospital in pediatric cardiology and clinical electrophysiology and lecturing in pediatrics at Harvard University, he returned to WVU School of Medicine. In 1995 he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania as an attending Pediatric Cardiologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia before returning permanently to West Virginia in 2005.
In addition to teaching at the WVU School of Medicine, Dr. Rhodes maintains a clinical practice in Morgantown and also provides outreach pediatric cardiology care in several rural communities including, Lewisburg, Glenville, Summerville, Beckley, Gary and Pineville. He volunteers each summer at Camp Mountain Heart – a week-long adventure where patients aged 8-17 participate in fun activities under close medical supervision. In 2017 he helped establish a second summer camp, Tomorrow is Mine, for children in southern West Virginia to instill in them the belief that their future is bright and under their control. Under his leadership, the WVU Institute for Community and Rural Health has enabled more than 1,000 students to complete rural health training and has provided scholarships to encourage WVU dental and medical students to commit to practice in rural locations.
“Dr. Rhodes’ deep commitment to West Virginia’s children has inspired health leaders throughout the State and the country,” said Jennifer Giovannitti, president of the Benedum Foundation. “We will benefit from his expertise and look forward to learning from him how to address the State’s most critical public health issues.”
The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation was established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum, natives of West Virginia, as a memorial to their only child, Claude Worthington Benedum, who died in 1918 at the age of 20. The Foundation is a regional foundation focusing primarily on West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania.