Cleveland Clinic Names John Vargo MD MPH Department Chair of Gastroenterology

August 8, 2011

After an extensive national search, John Vargo, MD, MPH, has been named Chair of the Gastroenterology Department of the Digestive Disease Institute of Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Vargo holds two patents in endoscopic surgery and is widely published. He has earned several awards, including the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Career Development Award, which he received in 2003. 

In addition to his clinical practice as head of the Section of Therapeutics and Hepatobiliary Endoscopy, Dr. Vargo is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. He has served as interim chairman of the Department of Gastroenterology since early 2010, and has been a member of the department since 1994.

Ranked No. 2 in the nation for digestive disorders by U.S.News & World Report for several years, the Digestive Disease Institute is one of the largest in the country. It is also the first of its kind to integrate specialists in gastroenterology and hepatology, colorectal surgery, hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) and transplant surgery, general surgery and nutrition.

“Dr. Vargo’s clinical and institutional leadership provides the Digestive Disease Institute with a combination of insight and knowledge,” said John Fung, MD, PhD, Chair of the Digestive Disease Institute of Cleveland Clinic. “I am confident that he will continue his proven record of success, academic excellence, innovation and dedication to his team and Cleveland Clinic.”

Dr. Vargo earned his medical degree at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, completed his residency at Montefiore Hospital University Health Center, Pittsburgh, and completed his fellowship at Cleveland Clinic. He also holds a master’s of public health from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and is an honorary fellow of the Gastroenterology Society of Ecuador. He is a councilor of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and is recognized for his research in procedural sedation, deep enteroscopy, and endoscopic training.

A member of the Department of Gastroenterology since 1994, Dr. Vargo’s research interests include sedation, physiologic monitoring, outcomes, and training. His endoscopic practice includes ERCP, EUS, advanced imaging techniques, stenting, EMR and deep enteroscopy. Dr. Vargo is currently the chairman of the ASGE’s Training Committee.

About the Digestive Disease Institute

The Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic is among the nation’s only integrated diagnosis and treatment centers combining gastrointestinal and colorectal specialists. The offers expertise in advanced endoscopy, minimally-invasive surgery, hepatobiliary and transplant surgery, nutrition therapy and support, pancreatic-biliary disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases and swallowing and esophageal conditions.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. It was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,100 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. In addition to its main campus, Cleveland Clinic operates nine regional hospitals and 15 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2012, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2009, there were more than 4.6 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 170,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at

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