Barry W. Ramo, M.D.
President, New Mexico Heart Institute Foundation
Medical Director, New Heart Center for Wellness, Fitness, and Cardiac Rehabilitation
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.