Alumni Association (MAA) of Wake Forest
School of Medicine has presented its annual awards to distinguished alumni.
Honored during Wake Forest School of Medicine’s annual M.D. Alumni Weekend
activities on Sept. 23 were:
- Jon S. Abramson, M.D. ’76, of Winston-Salem, Distinguished Faculty
- Joseph R. Overby Jr., M.D. ’71, of New Bern, N.C., Distinguished Service
- Roger E. Stevenson, M.D. ’66, of Greenwood, S.C., Distinguished
Abramson, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., has devoted his career
to children’s health, spanning patient care, research and education.
He is professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, which
he joined in 1981. In 1996, he was named the Weston M. Kelsey Professor and
Chair of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief for Wake Forest Baptist Health-Brenner
He was instrumental in leading the 2002 expansion of
Brenner Children’s, and he worked to ensure that families had a voice in
decisions concerning the design of the hospital’s physical space and its
As a member of the World Health Organization’s
Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunizations (SAGE), Abramson has
chaired a number of its working groups including those focused on cholera,
meningococcal and varicella vaccines. He also has served on working groups
aimed at the rubella vaccine, a global vaccine action plan, and influenza
seasonal and pandemic vaccine. In September 2013, he was appointed to a
three-year term as SAGE chair.
He has served as president of the Society for
Pediatric Research, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on
Infectious Diseases, and chair of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. He stepped down as
chair of pediatrics in 2014 to devote more attention to his work with SAGE.
Abramson holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston
University and completed his medical training with a residency at Wake Forest
Overby, a native of Smithfield, N.C., has served New Bern
and surrounding communities as a primary care physician for 40 years.
In 1976, he helped found New Bern Family Practice to
address the need for primary care physicians in North Carolina’s Craven and
Pamlico counties. He is medical director of the HOPE Clinic in Bayboro, N.C.,
and on the medical staff at MERCI Clinic in New Bern. Both clinics serve the uninsured.
Overby also operates a free walk-in clinic at a homeless shelter and has led
numerous medical mission trips to Ukraine, China, Russia and India.
He is associate clinical professor with the
Department of Family Practice at East Carolina University’s Brody School of
Medicine, medical director of CarolinaEast Home Health, former chief of staff
at CarolinaEast Medical Center and a board member with the CarolinaEast
At Wake Forest Baptist, he has served on the boards
of both North Carolina Baptist Hospital and the Medical Center. He led the Wake
Forest MAA as president in 2006-07 and established the Joseph Randal Overby IV
Memorial Scholarship Fund at the medical school in memory of his grandson.
Overby holds a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest
University and completed his medical training with an internship in medicine
and pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist and a family practice residency at
Medical College of Virginia.
Stevenson, a native of South Carolina, has focused his medical
career on birth defects, intellectual disability, and autism and related
In 1974, he co-founded the Greenwood Genetic Center,
the first independent center in the nation to provide comprehensive genetic
services. The center offers medical genetics training programs, clinics,
diagnostic laboratories and research programs in Greenwood and clinics in the
South Carolina cities of Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Florence.
He has authored numerous publications including
three editions of “Human Malformations and Related Anomalies,” two editions of “Atlas
of X-linked Intellectual Disability Syndromes” and two editions of “The Fetus
and Newly Born Infant: Influences of the Prenatal Environment.”
His previous honors include induction into the Johns
Hopkins University Society of Scholars; honorary degrees from Furman, Lander
and Clemson universities; and The Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian
honor awarded by the governor of South Carolina, presented to individuals who
have made contributions of statewide significance.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Furman University,
and he completed a pediatric residency and fellowships in metabolism and
genetics at Johns Hopkins Hospital.