Thomas Kerkering, M.D., FACP, FIDSA, Chief of Infectious Diseases
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Dr. Kerkering’s award acknowledges his long-term service and commitment to caring for patients in the international community. He has had a career spanning more than 37 years where he has been able to exemplify his leadership and his dedication to the international community. While he has been with the Infectious Diseases Division at Carilion Clinic, his leadership and organizational skills were crucial during the outbreak of fungal meningitis in Southwest Virginia as well as during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. During the outbreak, the World Health Organization reached out to Dr. Kerkering for his help and he traveled to Sierra Leone to educate and train personnel on how to treat infected patients, sharing his knowledge on proper infection control measures to contain Ebola.
“The span and scope of Dr. Kerkering’s international activities are truly amazing,” said Paul Skolnik, M.D., who nominated him for this award. “Dr. Kerkering has taken the lessons learned internationally to inform better care for the residents of Virginia and other places in the United States, and also taught trainees who will follow in his footsteps to carry on the best that America has to offer in the international arena; in this manner, he has added to the world's health care in remarkable ways.”
Since 1979, Dr. Kerkering has been traveling around the world to continue his global health work, helping patients in Cambodia, Angola, Ethiopia, the Middle East, Russia, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and many other countries.
Dr. Kerkering is a Professor of Medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor at Virginia Tech University Public Health Program, Section Chief at the Carilion Clinic of Infectious Diseases and Medical Director at the Carilion Clinic Infection Control. He has a Master’s degree in Public Health and is regularly sought out internationally for his instruction on infectious diseases issues important for public health.