Monmouth Medical Center is a teaching hospital, which means that
we focus on a multi-disciplinary approach to medicine. Our patients
benefit from the collaboration of a team of specialists – a
unique strength that enables our medical professionals to determine
the most effective strategies for the detection, diagnosis and
treatment of and variety of illnesses and diseases. Our team works
closely with the patient and his/her family to formulate a personal,
comprehensive treatment plan specific to their diagnosis with the
goal of achieving the possible outcome.
Meet the leaders of our cardiology team:
John B. Checton, MD, FACC
Chief, Department of Cardiology
Rita Watson, MD, FACC
Chief, Department of Cardiology
John B. Checton, M.D., has served as chief of the Department of
Cardiology at Monmouth Medical Center for more than 20 years.
Recognized as one of the region’s leading cardiologists,
Dr. Checton is credited with playing an instrumental role in driving
Monmouth Medical Center’s development as a center of excellence
in cardiac care. Under his dedicated role as medical director of
Monmouth’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Monmouth in
2006 joined a select group of nine New Jersey hospitals — and
the only facility in Monmouth County — in a national research
trial that allows certain community hospitals to perform elective
balloon angioplasty to open clogged arteries in cardiac patients.
Dr. Checton’s medical career spans nearly 30 years. After
receiving his medical degree from the University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, he completed
his internal medicine residency at Monmouth Medical Center and
a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the University of Louisville
School of Medicine, Louisville, KY.
Upon completion of his studies, he joined the MMC Medical and
Dental Staff, and in 1984, was named director of its noninvasive
Cardiac Laboratory. The following year, he assumed the directorship
of the Department of Cardiology — a leadership position he
has since held, holding responsibility over its full spectrum of
Dr. Checton is board certified in internal medicine and has attained
subspecialty certification in cardiovascular disease, critical
care medicine and nuclear cardiology. He is among less than 5,000
physicians in the United States certified by the Board of Certification
in Nuclear Cardiology, which involves skilled training in the use
of radioisotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
A member and fellow of the American Heart Association’s
Council of Clinical Cardiology, Dr. Checton received the 2003 Distinguished
Achievement Award in Cardiology Practice from its Monmouth County
He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Society
of Coronary Angiography and Interventions, and the American College
of Chest Physicians. He also holds membership in the American College
of Physicians, American Society of Internal Medicine, Society of
Nuclear Medicine, American Society of Echocardiography, American
Medical Association, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Monmouth
County Medical Society and the New Jersey Medical Society.
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Dr. Watson received her BA from the University of Nebraska and
then her MS from Northwestern University where she was a National
Science Foundation Fellow.
After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Watson completed
her post graduate Internal Medicine training at the Hospital of
the University of Pennsylvania. She received her training in Cardiology
at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes
of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Thereafter, she remained at the
NIH as a Senior Investigator.
Dr. Watson was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia
University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and was a Cath Lab
Attending at Presbyterian Hospital for four years. Dr. Watson then
moved to New Jersey where she was a Professor of Medicine at Seton
Hall and Chief of Cardiology and Director of Cardiology Fellowship
Dr. Watson is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners
and is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular
Diseases and Interventional Cardiology.
Dr. Watson has been elected a Fellow of the prestigious International
Andrea Gruentzig Society. She is a Fellow and an officer of the
Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. She is a Fellow
of the American College of Cardiology and of the Clinical Council
of the American Heart Association.
Dr. Watson holds national and state level positions and was recently
elected "Top Doc" (one of 12 cardiologists) by her New Jersey Cardiology
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