Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC: ACC Secretary and Board of Governors Chair

A third-generation physician, Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC, is carrying on a family tradition of practicing medicine in North Carolina, although his predecessors’ turn-of-the-century payment model is quite different from today’s physician payment landscape. “As small town family physicians, my father and grandfather were often paid in produce,” says Wilson. “From them I learned that the true meaning of the medical profession does not come from making money, but instead it is derived from the appreciation one receives by taking care of patients.” It is that sense of purpose and focus on the patient that has helped propel Wilson through his impressive career in medicine and into physician leadership roles, now serving as secretary of ACC’s Board of Trustees (BOT) and chair of the College’s Board of Governors (BOG).

Wilson graduated with honors from Davidson College and subsequently Duke University Medical School. He went on to train in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University, where he served as chief resident before his cardiology fellowship under his mentor and “profound role model,” Gottlieb C. Friesinger II, MD, MACC, who previously served as BOG Chair from spring 1981 to 1982. Wilson joined the Carolinas HealthCare System’s Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute as an interventional cardiologist where he rose to director of the cath lab and then served as chief of cardiology for over 15 years. For the last decade, Wilson has been clinical professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Cardiology Magazine Image"From them I learned that the true meaning of the medical profession does not come from making money, but instead it is derived from the appreciation one receives by taking care of patients." Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC

As BOG chair for 2017-2018, Wilson leads the body of Governors who represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. uniformed services. “Chapters are critical as they serve as the eyes, ears and bidirectional voice for the ACC,” says Wilson.

Like many current and prior ACC leaders, Wilson’s first exposure to the College came by way of his local ACC Chapter. “More than two decades ago, I began getting involved with the North Carolina Chapter,” he says. “I quickly became engrossed in the chapter’s excellent programming and networking offerings, as well as the ability to develop and nurture friendships in the field of cardiology throughout the Carolinas.”

Soon Wilson began taking on leadership opportunities at the Chapter and ultimately at the national ACC level. For the past five years, he has been a program director for ACC’s North Carolina/South Carolina Chapter annual meeting, which has grown into one of the largest combined state meetings with over 200 attendees. He was elected the governor for ACC’s North Carolina Chapter for the 2014-2017 term, and served on the BOT as BOG Chair-Elect from 2016-2017. Wilson also has participated as a member of ACC’s Membership Committee and the NCDR Management Board.

Wilson is passionate about the influence ACC chapters can have both nationally and locally, and sees great collaborative opportunities for chapters and sections in the future. “ACC Chapters must work to break down any barriers or obstacles among the sections, the academic centers and large and small group practices as we are now all integrated to some degree,” he says. “We all need to lock arms and move forward together to understand and satisfy the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and recertification.”

Wilson notes that one of the best ways to create this inclusive environment is to include a wide range of councilors from “every academic center, every major large practice as well as smaller practices in the Chapter council and in the annual Chapter meeting.” From experience leading the North Carolina Chapter, Wilson believes that “this will lead to enhanced member engagement particularly between ACC chapters and member sections.” He adds that other common goals include improving population health starting with Tobacco 21, tort reform and identifying and registering all chapter and/or state STEMI regional systems of care. As such, Wilson urges ACC members to get involved on a local and Chapter level because “it’s fun and it provides an easy way to stay abreast of best practices, connect with other physicians and care team members, and become truly impactful in our mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health.”

Having led numerous cardiology medical missions to Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize, and with three adult children in medical school and one serving the community as a teacher, it is safe to say that Wilson’s multi-generation family legacy of serving others lives on. “I consider cardiology my vocation and my avocation, but I value my family above all,” he says. “In the 25th hour I love to travel with my wife – albeit many times related to ACC – and I have special interests with each of my four adult children, including stargazing and old classic movies, walking the dogs and going to vegan restaurants, and snow skiing, golf, tennis and fly fishing.”

Dr. Wilson with his wife, Hannah, and his children Starr, Kathryn, Sallie and Hadley, in front of half dome in Yosemite in June 2016.

Governor Bill Abernethy, MD, FACC, presenting Wilson with the Chapter Gratitude Service Award from the NC Chapter for his years as Governor from 2014 to 2017.

Wilson with his son, also named Hadley, on a medical mission trip at a clinic in Panama in 2014.

Wilson with his son Hadley on a medical mission trip to Nicaragua.

Cardiology Magazine DownloadRead the full May 2017 issue of Cardiology at ACC.org/Cardiology

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