Our goal is to create a sustainable training program by teaching trainers to educate others in their community, so everyone knows what to do if someone collapses from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Our program is presented by volunteers and trained responders to organizations throughout the community.
Success of our program is based on the concept of training the trainer, and enormous support of volunteer trainers. So far, school nurses, P.E. teachers, health teachers, and security personnel are just a few examples of the facilitators working hard to teach as many capable hands as possible.
Our hope is that the course engenders confidence in each person would initiate CPR and utilize the three other lifesaving skills when confronted with an emergency.
Dr. Ramo, with the NM Heart Institute Foundation, initiated the passage of a law in 2015 with the New Mexico Legislature. The Governor signed a bill making use of the AED protected under the Good Samaritan Act, encouraging many sites to purchase AEDs.
Board of Directors
Barry W. Ramo, M.D. was born in Denver, Colorado, attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado and received his MD degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the honor medical society. He spent a year in London at Guy’s Hospital Medical School studying with Charles Baker, MD, one of the world’s leading cardiologists. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Chicago while his wife Roberta attended the Law School.
Dr. Ramo trained in cardiovascular disease at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. At Duke, he was named Director of the Myocardial Infarction Research Unit, one of seven national research centers focusing specifically on improving therapy for patients with heart attacks.
Following his training at Duke, Dr. Ramo joined the United States Air Force as a major where he was stationed at Welford Hall Hospital, the Cardiology Center for the United States Air Force, where he was the director of the coronary care unit. While in San Antonio, Texas, he was on the faculty at the University of Texas Medical School.
He moved to Albuquerque where he and two other cardiologists started what has become the New Mexico Heart Institute. He holds clinical professorships at University of New Mexico and Duke University. He has been a visiting professor in China and Mexico and has had sabbaticals at the Mayo Clinic, the University of California in San Francisco and at Duke University. He has been a guest lecturer in China, Mexico and England.
For the past 25 years, Dr. Ramo has been the medical editor for KOAT TV, the ABC affiliate serving New Mexico. He writes a newspaper column on health for the Albuquerque Journal and the Roundhouse. He serves as the spokesperson for “Step it up Albuquerque” and hosts periodic health programs for the city called “Spotlight on Health”.
As an electrophysiologist, Dr. Ramo has a profound interest in sudden cardiac death and the role CPR and AEDs can play. Dr. Ramo created Project Heart Start New Mexico which is a program to teach all New Mexicans the new compression only CPR and to use the automated external defibrillator or AED. The program has trained more than 28,000 people since its inception. This life saving program Is sponsored by the New Mexico Heart Institute Foundation and is presented in schools, businesses and social organization including Intel and Sandia Laboratories. The goal is to take this program to a national audience.
Dr. Ramo is married to Roberta Cooper Ramo, an attorney practicing in Albuquerque. She is President of the American Law Institute and the first woman president of the American Bar Association. Their son, Joshua, is the Vice Chair of Kissinger Associates and is married to Nora Abousteit, founder of Kollabora. Jennifer Ramo, their daughter, is an attorney. She is executive director of New Mexico Appleseed, an organization that uses the legal system to help poor people. She is married to Dr. David Kutz, a psychologist, and has two sons, Carlos and Rafael.
In the community, Dr. Ramo has served or serves on the Board of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Albuquerque Museum for Art and History and the Albuquerque Community Foundation where he was President. His interests are his family and friends, music, opera, theater and eating really great usually pretty healthy food.
Karen Sopko, M.D. joined the New Mexico Heart Institute in August, 2011. She completed Internal Medicine residency and Cardiology Fellowship at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Sopko earned her medical degree from the University of New Mexico. She obtained her under-graduate degree from The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo-rado.
Dr. Sopko’s clinical interests are: preventive cardiology, women and heart disease, Native Americans and prevention of heart disease, and pregnancy and heart disease. She is fluent in conversational Navajo.
Dr. Sopko practices at the major health centers in Albuquerque, including the Heart Hospital of New Mexico, Presbyterian Hospital, and Lovelace Medical Center. She sees patients by appointment at the New Mexico Heart Institute’s comprehensive cardiovascular care centers in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
Mel Peralta, M.D. joined the New Mexico Heart Institute in April 2012. He is Board Certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Cardiology Fellow-ship at the University of New Mexico and has been an Assistant Professor and inpatient Medical Director there since 2009. Dr. Peralta earned his medical degree from the University of Texas.
Dr. Peralta’s clinical interests are in preventive cardiology and cardio-vascular imaging. Dr. Peralta is bilingual in Spanish.
Dr. Peralta practices at the major health centers in Albuquerque including the Heart Hospital of New Mexico, Presbyterian Hospital, and Lovelace Medical Center. He sees patients by appointment at New Mexico Heart Institute’s comprehensive cardiovascular care centers in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
Sean P. Mazer, M.D., is a cardiology specialist working in the field of electrophysiology with the New Mexico Heart Institute. He is originally from New Mexico. Dr. Mazer completed his Cardiology and Electrophysiology Fellowships at Columbia University. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency and received his medical degree also from Columbia University.
Dr. Mazer’s clinical interests include: arrhythmias of all kinds especially atrial fibrillation, epicardial ablation, ablation for runners with arrhythmias, advanced heart failure therapy including LVAD and heart transplantation, and ventricular tachycardia.
Dr. Mazer practices at the major health centers in Albuquerque, including the Heart Hospital of New Mexico, Presbyterian Hospital, and Lovelace Medical Center. Dr. Mazer is the Director of Electrophysiology at the New Mexico Heart Institute. He is a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society.
Dr. Mazer sees patients by appointment at New Mexico Heart Institute’s Heart Rhythm Center of Excellence in Albuquerque. He also sees patients in Farmington.
Brendan Cavanaugh, M.D., is a cardiology specialist working in the field of Cardiovascular Imaging with the New Mexico Heart Institute. He joined the practice in 2006. Dr. Cavanaugh completed his fellowship at North-western Medical Center and his residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He obtained his medical degree from Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Dr. Cavanaugh’s clinical interests include: non-invasive cardiac imaging, cardiovascular care of the athlete and preventative cardiology.
Dr. Cavanaugh practices at the major health centers in Albuquerque, including the Heart Hospital of New Mexico, Presbyterian Hospital, and Lovelace Medical Center. He sees patients by appointment at New Mexico Heart Institute’s comprehensive cardiovascular care centers in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
Mark Bieniarz, M.D., is a cardiology specialist working in the field of Interventional Cardiology with the New Mexico Heart Institute. He is originally from New Mexico. Dr. Bieniarz completed his Cardiology and Interventional Fellowships at Baylor College of Medicine and his Internal Medicine residency at Emory University School of Medicine. He obtained his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Duke University.
Dr. Bieniarz’ clinical interests include: coronary and peripheral arterial interventions, structural heart disease, radial artery catheterizations, emergent cardiovascular care, and medical systems of care. He is flu-ent in Spanish. Dr. Bieniarz is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan where he served as a flight surgeon with the Air Force Special Operations Command.
Dr. Bieniarz practices at the major health centers in Albuquerque, including the Heart Hospital of New Mexico, Presbyterian Hospital, and Lovelace Medical Center. Dr. Bieniarz sees patients by appointment at New Mexico Heart Institute’s comprehensive cardiovascular care centers in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
Irv Diamond, CPA. As a Certified Public Accountant, Irv has helped clients grow their businesses and achieve financial security. Irv is a business and financial advisor to clients in various industries and professional services. He has particular skills in litigation support as an expert witness, and often helps clients with mergers, acquisitions, and sales of their businesses.
Irv holds certifications as a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and as a Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP). Irv is active in professional organizations, and served as president of the New Mexico Society of CPAs. He is also a former vice president and member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.
In related industries, Irv is chairman of the Board of Directors of AmerInst Insurance Group, Ltd., a publicly held reinsurance company, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Santa Fe, where he chaired the Audit Committee.
Irv has held several board and leadership positions in civic and charitable organizations including the Santa Fe Opera, the University of New Mexico Anderson Schools Foundation, and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, among others. Currently he is a member of the Board of Directors of Spaceport America.
Trena brings over 25 years of experience in healthcare operations to Lovelace, including cardiovascular care, primary and preventive health care services, as well as commercial on-site health unit operations in both the manufacturing and corporate settings. Trena comes to us from New Mexico Heart Institute (NMHI), where she served for over three years as chief operating officer. NMHI was purchased by Lovelace in November 2018 and since then, she has been the chief administrative officer for the Cardiovascular Service Line (CVSL) for Lovelace Health System. Trena is responsible for the strategic planning process and driving strategic initiatives for CVSL programs, as well as selecting and retaining CVSL leadership personnel and providing oversight and direction to department leaders.
Before serving as COO of NMHI, Trena worked for CHS Health Services in Brentwood, TN as vice president of operations. She has broad clinical experience in inpatient and emergency room nursing and as a manger of occupational health and risk.
Trena completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in San Antonio, TX. She is currently pursuing her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Walden University.
Douglas Smith has been President of NanoPore since 1994. Previously, he was Regents Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of New Mexico. He has over 100 patents and his work has led to 3 commercial product lines; NanoglassTM dielectrics, NanoPoreTM VIP insulation, and NanoCoolTM on-demand cooling. He has created multiple ventures including; NanoPore Incorporated, Nanoglass LLC (with Honeywell), NanoPore Insulation LLC and NanoPore Insulation Ltd. (now Kevothermal in ABQ and the UK), and NanoCool LLC. NanoCool is the world’s largest producer of on-demand cooled packaging.