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Dr. Veronica Wiltshire named chief medical officer of United Health Centers

Dr. Veronica Wiltshire

Dr. Veronica Wiltshire named chief medical officer of United Health Centers
September 30
16:02 2021

Dr. Veronica Wiltshire has been named chief medical officer of United Health Centers. As chief medical officer, Wiltshire said her goal is to make UHC the best health care provider in the country. 

Wiltshire’s journey into the world of medicine began in Guyana, a country located in the Caribbean region of South America. During a recent interview with The Chronicle, Wiltshire said Guyana is where she learned the skills to connect with her patients and the importance of hard work. 

“I spent my first 10 years of life in Guyana. I grew up in a village called Victoria and that’s where I learned a lot of the life skills that built my foundation,” Wiltshire continued. “We didn’t have it easy, basic things were very difficult to come by like electricity, running water, even food … but one of the things I learned was hard work.” 

Although they didn’t have much when she was growing up, Wiltshire said her mother always stressed the importance of getting a quality education. “She may not have been able to give us all the things we needed in life, but she made sure we got a good education, so we looked at education as a way out.”

When she was 10 years old, Wiltshire and her family moved to Antigua, but her work ethic and love for education followed her there and a few years later, when she moved to Brooklyn, New York. 

Wiltshire managed to graduate as valedictorian from Canarise High School and earn a scholarship to St. Francis College, where she majored in biology and graduated cum laude.

After undergrad, in 2008 Wiltshire earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica, West Indies. Two years later she completed residency training at SUNY Downstate Health Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Immediately after her pediatrics residency, Dr. Wiltshire started working as a general pediatrician at the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, which is also a federally qualified health center (FQHC), located in Queens. 

In 2019 she became chief medical officer (CMO) at the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, where she was tasked with leading the clinic team during the pandemic and a financial crisis. She said it was tough emotionally, but she was able to push through. 

“On top of the crisis that was going on, we had COVID, which caused a greater crisis, but one thing that I enjoyed being in that position at that time was being able to guide the team,” Wiltshire said. “To carry us through that crisis it took a lot of mental strength and that’s when I realized how strong I was and how much courage I had.” 

Shortly after she helped roll out the vaccine at the clinic, Richard Huntley, CEO of United Health Centers, offered Wiltshire the CMO position here in Winston-Salem. She said what stood out to her about UHC was Huntley’s vision. “When I interviewed, he said he wanted United Healthcare Centers to be the best clinic in the world. 

“I love that he said that because that’s the same kind of passion that I have and I wanted to work with people who were passionate about quality and passionate about serving the patients … so when he said that, I knew this was the place for me.”

As CMO of United Health Centers, Wiltshire will be responsible for making sure policies are in place to make staff and patients enjoy their UHC experience. Wiltshire officially started at UHC on July 1 and she immediately got to work. 

“I hit the ground running,” Wiltshire laughed. “I told Mr. Huntley I wanted to work with him to help build the clinic and make sure quality improves and the best service for patients. Just because it’s a clinic doesn’t mean people should have poor service. I want to make sure patients and staff choose to be here, and not because they have to be here.”

United Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center, began as an outgrowth of community organizing activities led by Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods and six neighborhood associations in southeastern Winston-Salem in 2003. The mission at United Health Centers is to provide care while building healthier communities. The vision of the UHC’s leadership is to provide a high level of care and education that will positively impact neighborhoods, communities, and ultimately be a world model for quality care. 

For more information about United Health Centers, visit https://uhcenters.org/.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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