Dr. A. Wesley Burks, who has served as executive dean for the UNC School of Medicine and as a member of UNC Health Care’s senior leadership team, has been named CEO of UNC Health Care, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.– Dr. A. Wesley Burks, who has served as executive dean for the UNC School of Medicine and as a member of UNC Health Care’s senior leadership team, has been named CEO of UNC Health Care, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Burks succeeds Dr. Bill Roper who announced his retirement last May and was appointed in October to serve as interim president of the UNC System beginning in mid-January. Dr. Burks will begin his new role on Jan. 15.
Burks’ name was presented by President Margaret Spellings to the Board of Governors for a vote following unanimous votes by the UNC Health Care Board of Directors and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees.
“Dr. Burks is the right person to lead UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine at a time of tremendous and unprecedented change in the health care industry,” said Spellings. “Having served as executive dean and member of UNC Health Care’s senior leadership team, he is uniquely positioned to immediately develop and execute a strategy that leads our health care system and School of Medicine into the future.”
“It is the highest honor to serve these amazing institutions as CEO and Dean,” said Burks. “I look forward to working with many people, especially our talented team, to develop and communicate a strategic vision and long-term goals for the institution, while strengthening our national and international standing. I am humbled and appreciative of the confidence placed in me by the Board of Governors, Board of Trustees and UNC Health Care Board of Directors.”
“No greater service can be rendered to the citizens of North Carolina than having the opportunity to receive quality, accessible and affordable health care. It is also our responsibility to teach the next generation of health care professionals while we continue our research that is changing the future of medicine. That is a huge responsibility, and having worked closely with Wesley for years I know he will lead the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health Care forward.” said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “A world-renowned researcher who has dedicated his professional life to finding new cures for the most deadly diseases, Wesley embraces compassionate care outcomes that change the lives of patients and their families. Thanks to his focus on education, there are thousands of caring physicians and clinicians providing the best, affordable care across our state, nation and world.”
Dr. Burks has spent over 30 years taking care of patients, conducting research, helping to educate trainees, and leading institutions. He joined UNC in 2011 as physician-in-chief of the North Carolina Children’s Hospital and was named chair of the department of pediatrics in 2012. In 2015, he was named executive dean of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Prior to serving at UNC, Burks worked at Duke University Medical Center and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He is a well-published and renowned researcher in the field of pediatric allergy and immunology. Burks led a research team that was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine for the world’s first treatment for potentially fatal peanut allergies.
“I could not be more pleased at the appointment of Dr. Burks to lead our health care system and school of medicine,” stated Charlie Owen, chair of UNC Health Care Board of Directors. “Wesley is a tremendous leader and visionary with the perfect combination of business acumen, researcher and educator to advance our institutions.
Burks resides in Chapel Hill with his wife, Jan. They have three children and four grandchildren.