Viera awarded School of Medicine’s inaugural Wilkerson Professorship
|November 27, 2012|
Anthony Viera, MD, MPH, 2006 alumnus of the Gillings School of Global Public Health at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, has received the inaugural Charles Baynes Wilkerson Distinguished Professorship in Family Medicine in UNC’s School of Medicine.
Viera is director of the Health Care and Prevention Master of Public Health degree program in Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Public Health Leadership Program and associate professor of family medicine in UNC’s medical school.
The Wilkerson professorship was established by Dr. Annie Louise Wilkerson in memory of her father, Dr. Charles B. Wilkerson. The senior Dr. Wilkerson, who received his medical degree from UNC in 1906, was a primary care physician in the Raleigh area. Annie Wilkerson died in 2005 and had planned through her estate to establish the professorship honoring her father.
“Dr. Annie Wilkerson was a pioneering physician and is a legend in Wake County,” said Warren P. Newton, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Family Medicine and vice dean for education in the medical school. “She was known for her compassionate care of patients, including the underserved, at a time when it was very unpopular. Having a professorship at UNC Family Medicine in her father’s name is an honor.”
Viera’s honorific for the award will be Charles B. Wilkerson, MD ’06 Distinguished Scholar, a title he will hold for four years.
Viera completed residency training in family medicine at the Jacksonville (Fla.) Naval Hospital. As an active-duty family physician, he was posted to Guam for several years. During his Navy tenure, he received a number of service awards, including the Gold Star and Commendation Medal, and several teaching awards.Having begun his career in Chapel Hill in 2004 as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, Viera is praised for his research productivity and accomplishments.
“He is the most productive young researcher – in terms of projects, funding and papers – that I have encountered in my 24 years in the department,” said Don Pathman, MD, MPH, research director in the family medicine department.
In addition to his research activities, Viera has served as a clinician, attending on the family medicine inpatient and maternal and child services, seeing outpatients in the Family Medicine Center, and providing emergency and urgent care at Chatham Hospital in Siler City, N.C. As a clinician, he was recognized in 2010 as one of the Best Doctors in America® and received the Health Care Heroes Award from the Triangle Business Journal.
“According to surviving family members, Dr. Annie Wilkerson would want the holder of the professorship to be a good and active clinician, an educator and an innovator,” Newton said. “We feel Dr. Viera fills these requirements exceptionally well.”