Biese, McNeal-Trice, and Viera named Medical Alumni Loyalty Fund Distinguished Teaching Professors

Kevin Biese, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, Kenya McNeal-Trice, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, and Anthony Viera, MD, MPH, distinguished associate professor of family medicine, were nominated by the Academy of Educators and the National Loyalty Fund Committee of the Medical Alumni Association.

Biese, McNeal-Trice, and Viera named Medical Alumni Loyalty Fund Distinguished Teaching Professors click to enlarge Left to Right: Dr. Kevin Biese, Dr. Kenya McNeal-Trice, Dr. Anthony Viera

The three professors were selected because they demonstrated excellence and leadership in teaching medical students, as well as, generating innovative teaching techniques. The term of the professorship is four years and will begin August 1, 2014. This award will support their roles as both agents of change and ambassadors for the School of Medicine, underscoring the School's commitment to innovation and excellence in medical education across the country. 

Kevin Biese, MD, is an associate professor and Residency Program Director for emergency medicine. "Dr. Biese has been a leader in efforts to develop effective research and clinical approaches to enhance the timely and appropriate care of geriatric patients in the emergency department as well as innovative approaches to the education of nurses, residents, and attending physicians," wrote Dr. Charles B. Cairns in the nomination letter for Dr. Biese. "These efforts have directly led to changes in the care of geriatric patients in the UNC emergency department."

Cairns continues, "Under Kevin’s leadership, the residency program has been become nationally renowned. Currently, the residency program receives 1000 applications for our 10 annual entry positions. Kevin has focused on enhancing the educational aspects of the residency."

Kenya McNeal-Trice, MD, is an associate professor and Residency Program Director for Pediatrics. In the nomination letter written by Dr. Wesley Burks, he states, “She is a mentor for the Covenant Scholars program on the undergraduate campus, works tirelessly with many pipeline programs, and works formally in the SOM as one of the Larry Keith Advisors. She interviews for the SOM Admissions committee and Pediatrics Residency. She takes on students and residents who are having trouble and mentors them directly; spending multiple hours devoted to helping improve their skills. She is adept at gaining the trust of her learners and assuring that they understand her to be their advocate, and through that work, one by one, she helps learners change.”

Through donor support, a Junior Faculty Development Award, and a Children’s Promise grant, McNeal-Trice received grant funding to support the Transition to Pediatric Internship curriculum. She has presented her work on this curriculum across the country to venues including the Pediatric Medical Student Education community, COMSEP, and the AAMC. As a result of her innovative work, she earned the Academy of Educators Innovation in Teaching Award.

Anthony Viera, MD, MPH, is the Director of Health Care & Prevention for Public Health and Distinguished Associate Professor of Family Medicine. Viera developed many educational innovations throughout his career. Some examples include the print book series, CrossWardsTM. The book series contains games, like crossword puzzles and word jumbles, which benefit medical students in preparation for board examinations. With support funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Viera created a virtual simulation game to assist teaching population health concepts and principles within the medical school curriculum. At the annual meeting of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine in May, he presented his work for a text-messaging curriculum intended for residency education, known as eGEMsTM or electronically Generated Educational Messages.

In support of Viera's nomination, Dr. Warren Newton wrote, "In addition to great contributions and outstanding evaluations, what characterizes Dr. Viera has been a remarkable commitment both to learners and to innovation in teaching techniques. He serves as a mentor with dozens of students in the MD-MPH program and with many of the 16 fellows per year in our faculty development program. He spends countless hours working with them on their projects and talking with them about their career, and effortlessly brings students and residents in as co-teachers."

 Newton ends his letter saying,  "Finally, I want to make note that he has created and piloted a first-year undergraduate seminar at UNC entitled Health of the Nation; he was convinced that Medicine needs to become more active in recruiting the very best of undergraduates—and the result was this award winning course."