Larry A. Rhodes, M.D., professor and pediatric cardiologist, has been named the James H. Walker, M.D. Chair in Pediatric Cardiology in the West Virginia University School of Medicine. An investiture ceremony will be held on April 2, 2018 in the Pylons Lobby of the WVU Health Sciences Center.

“Two of the countless gifts in my life are being born a West Virginian and a long association with the WVU Department of Pediatrics and its wonderful history,” Dr. Rhodes said. “I will do my very best to preserve the heritage of the department in taking care of the children of West Virginia and training the next generation of pediatricians.”

Dr. Rhodes is the director of Rural Programs within the WVU School of Medicine and was previously named Rural Health Practitioner of the Year by the National Rural Health Association.

Dr. Rhodes earned a medical degree from the WVU School of Medicine and completed a residency training in pediatrics at WVU. Dr. Rhodes also completed fellowship training in pediatric cardiology and pediatric electrophysiology at Boston Children’s Hospital.

He served as a faculty member at WVU from 1990 to 1995 and returned to the School of Medicine in 2005 after spending 10 years with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

His appointment to the Walker Chair in Pediatric Cardiology comes after years of dedication and commitment to pediatric cardiology and providing care to medically underserved areas of West Virginia—a commitment similar to Dr. Walker’s.

"The reason we have a top-notch pediatric cardiology program here at WVU Medicine Children's is in no small means due to the efforts of Dr. Walker," said William A. Neal, M.D., professor emeritus in the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and inaugural recipient of the chair.

Dr. Walker and his team performed the first open heart surgery in the state of West Virginia and conducted cardiac clinics across the state in Philippi, Summersville, Beckley, Bluefield, Hinton, Welch and Charleston.

It was because of Dr. Walker’s commitment to education, research and patient care that placed West Virginia on the map as one of the best cardiac programs and cardiac clinical units across the state and country.

The chair was established following Dr. Walker’s death in 2006 and was first awarded in 2008. The endowment is funded through a gift from his estate.

Endowed chairs are a key factor in recruiting and retaining faculty members of the highest quality and honor faculty that have had a significant impact on a particular area. A strong faculty base ensures advancements in education, research, patient care and the future of healthcare in West Virginia.

To learn more about endowed chairs, please contact Clare Flanagan, assistant vice president of Health Sciences Development, at 304-293-1788 or

Hannah d'Entremont
Communications Specialist, Office of Philanthropy
304-293-1735 |