Glenn Wilson, founding director of NC AHEC

The Glenn Wilson Award for Public Service honors the founding director of the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program. Glenn Wilson served as the director of the North Carolina AHEC Program from 1972 to 1977. Wilson assembled the team of faculty to write the initial federal AHEC grant and was successful in receiving one of the initial 11 AHEC awards in 1971. At that time, the AHEC grant was the largest federal grant ever received by UNC-Chapel Hill. Wilson worked in close collaboration with hospital and other community health leaders at the initial AHEC sites to develop university-community partnerships that remain fundamental to the success of the AHEC Program in North Carolina. In 1974, he successfully led the effort to obtain permanent funding for AHEC, which supported expansion to a statewide program with nine centers and built AHEC facilities across the state. After leading the AHEC program through its formative stage in the 1970s, Glenn Wilson stepped down as AHEC program director to become the founding chair of the Department of Social and Administrative Medicine, now the Department of Social Medicine, in the UNC School of Medicine.

Initiated in 2006, The Glenn Wilson Award for Public Service pays tribute to Wilson’s numerous contributions in founding the North Carolina AHEC Program, his leadership in establishing a structure of partnerships between communities and academic health centers as the basis for the organization of the AHEC program, and his lifelong commitment to social justice and improved access to quality health care for the state’s most vulnerable communities. The Glenn Wilson Award for Public Service is given every other year to an individual who has made significant contributions to improving access to health care for the people of North Carolina.

The following criteria are used in selecting the awardee:

  • demonstrated leadership in improving access to health care for the people in North Carolina;
  • involvement in teaching health sciences students, either directly or through the work of the individuals’ organization;
  • successful partnerships with other providers to improve health care for communities; and
  • a champion in improving health outcomes for all North Carolinians, particularly those who are most vulnerable.


  • 2017: Lawrence M. Cutchin, MD, of Greenville, North Carolina, for his leadership as the first director of Area L AHEC and one of the original AHEC directors in the nation, for his service as chair of the Area L AHEC board and as a preceptor for the Brody School of Medicine, and his work with the Community Care Program of Eastern Carolina;
  • 2015: David M. Webb, EdD, of Wilson, North Carolina, for his leadership of Area L AHEC and his work to improve health care in North Carolina;
  • 2012: Eugene Maynard, MD, of Benson, North Carolina, for his work at the Benson Area Medical Center, with a particular focus on his work with migrant and seasonal farmer workers in Johnston County and the surrounding areas;
  • 2011: George T. Wolff, MD, of Greensboro, North Carolina, for educating family physicians to meet the primary care needs of North Carolina communities as director of the Moses Cone Family Practice Residency program;
  • 2009: Howard Loughlin, MD, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, for his service to the children of the Southern Regional AHEC region, statewide leadership in child advocacy and primary care education, and his service to the North Carolina AHEC program;
  • 2007: Olson Huff, MD, of Asheville, North Carolina, for his state and local advocacy for children, his service as a Mountain AHEC Board Member, and his work as a developmental pediatrician, clinician, and teacher;
  • 2006: Jane H. McCaleb, MD, of Jackson, North Carolina, for her career as medical director of Roanoke Amaranth Community Health Group, associate professor of family medicine at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, preceptor for UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University, and medical student clerkship director for Area L AHEC.