Meet Our Leadership Team
MEG KIHLSTROM, MD (she/her/hers)
In March of 2021, Dr. Meg Kihlstrom was named as Program Director. She is a Tar Heel through and through having completed undergraduate school, medical school, residency training, and Critical Care fellowship training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since becoming a faculty member in 2015, Dr. Kihlstrom has had a strong commitment to the Department of Pediatrics’ Education mission. She served as a career goal advisor for medical students matching into Pediatrics, and she also co-directed the School of Medicine’s Transition to Residency course. For the residency, she served as director of the PICU rotation and co-director of our simulation curriculum, and she has been an active member of our Clinical Competency Committee and Intern Selection Committee. Dr. Kihlstrom is a mentor to critical care fellows, serving on their Scholarship Oversight Committees.
JOANNE ALFRED, MD, MS (she/her/hers)
Joanne majored in Psychology at Covenant College and received her medical degree from the University of Florida really enjoys cooking and baking for her friends and family, as well as playing any and every kind of board game, traveling and exploring, finding great coffee shops, reading fiction and listening to podcasts, collecting houseplants, playing volleyball and eating ice cream. After meeting the residents and faculty, Joanne was drawn to the types of physicians that train and practice at UNC. “Everyone is family and genuinely enjoys each other’s company. There’s a sense of fun coupled with a dedication to clinical and educational excellence I couldn’t resist. I’m also excited for the opportunity to serve the surrounding community and gain a diverse skill set at three different hospitals.”
SOFIA ALIAGA, MD, MPH (she/her/hers)
Associate Program Director
Dr. Aliaga is a neonatologist at the NC Children’s Hospital. She completed both her undergraduate and medical school work at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado Pediatric Residency Program and the University of North Carolina Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program. She joined the faculty at UNC in 2010. In her role as APD, Dr. Aliaga serves as a class advisor and director of our simulation curriculum. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, has recently taken up boating, and is mildly obsessed with Minerva and Howard, her Chesapeake Bay retrievers.
MICHAEL BROWN, MD, MPH (he/him/his)
WakeMed Site Director for Inpatient Services
Dr. Brown is a pediatric hospitalist at WakeMed. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and received his MD and MPH from the University of North Carolina where he also completed his residency training. Prior to joining the WakeMed faculty in 2015, Dr. Brown served as an attending physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In his role with the residency, he oversees all aspects of the inpatient program at WakeMed and serves on the Clinical Competency Committee. He loves to spend his free time outdoors – on the road, in the woods, or deep in the mountains. He and his wife are the proud parents to three sons.
STEPHANIE DAVIS, MD (she/her/hers)
Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Davis is a Tar Heel, earning her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina. She received her medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and completed residency and pulmonology fellowship training at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Davis was a faculty member at UNC from 1999 until 2011, when she joined the Indiana University faculty. At IU, she held several leadership roles, including Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics, Division Chief for Pediatric Pulmonology, and Director of Ambulatory Services at the Riley Children’s Hospital. Dr. Davis returned to UNC in July 2018 as our Chair, and we are thrilled to welcome her home!
WHITNEY HADDIX, MD (she/her/hers)
Cone Health Director of Clinical Education
Dr. Haddix is a general pediatrician at Cone Health. She attended the University of Virginia for undergrad and Temple University for medical school. Dr. Haddix completed her residency training at the University of North Carolina (Primary Care Residency). In her role, Dr. Haddix directs clinical education at Cone Health, and she serves on the Clinical Competency Committee for the residency. She and her husband stay busy with their three year old daughter; together they enjoy trips to the park and visiting the Greensboro Science Center. Dr. Haddix is a proud member of the Beyhive
KATIE JORDAN, MD (she/her/hers)
Associate Program Director
Dr. Jordan is a member of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. She earned her undergraduate degree from Williams College and her medical degree from the University of North Carolina. She remained to complete residency training in the Primary Care Program and then served as a Chief Resident. She worked at Cone Health before joining the faculty at UNC. In her role as APD, Dr. Jordan is Director of the Continuity Clinic and also serves as the director for UNC SOM’s Pediatrics FIRST Program, an accelerated track for students to complete medical school in three years and matriculate into our residency program.
CHRISTIAN LAWRENCE, MD (he/him/his)
Associate Program Director
Dr. Lawrence is a member of the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine. He earned his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina. After medical school, he completed residency training at UNC and then served as a Chief Resident. Despite completing his medical training and now being a faculty member here, he remains an avid Wolfpack fan. In his role as an APD, Dr. Lawrence will focus on recruitment efforts and DEI initiatives.
KELLY LEAR (she/her/hers)
Kelly is a native North Carolinian, hailing from the coastal town of Jacksonville. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and minor in Music Performance. During her time as an undergraduate, she was a member of the trumpet section for the Marching Tar Heels. Kelly joined the Pediatric Education Office staff in 2001 as the student coordinator and began focusing on the residency in 2006. She thinks Bon Jovi is the best band ever, dreams of one day owning a pet flamingo, and bleeds Carolina Blue – GO HEELS!
KENYA McNEAL-TRICE, MD (she/her/hers)
Vice Chair of Education
Dr. McNeal-Trice received a BS in Biology from Spelman College before entering medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine. She completed pediatric residency training at the University of North Carolina and then was a Pediatric Chief Resident at WakeMed Hospital, one of UNC’s affiliated training sites. She joined our faculty in 2007 and in December 2013, Dr. McNeal-Trice was named Pediatric Residency Program Director. In March of 2021, she stepped down as PD to pursue other endeavors. She remains active with our program in her role as Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Pediatrics.
RASHEEDA MONROE, MD (she/her/hers)
WakeMed Site Director for Outpatient Services
Dr. Monroe is a general pediatrician at WakeMed and serves as medical director for WakeMed Children’s Primary Care Clinic. She received her undergraduate and medical degrees from East Carolina University. After completing residency training at the University of North Carolina, she worked in private practice at Raleigh Children and Adolescent Medicine. In her role with the residency, Dr. Monroe directs outpatient education at WakeMed.
DENITA MOORE (she/her/hers)
Denita is originally from Charlotte, NC but now calls Alamance County home. She graduated from North Carolina Central University with a BA in History Education. While at NCCU, Denita was a member of History Club, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Gamma Mu, and the Golden Key Honor Society. She joined the Pediatric Education Office staff in 2013 and her work primarily focuses on the residency with a little fellowship support sprinkled in for fun. Denita married her high school sweetheart (awww), and together, they are the proud parents to two dashingly handsome boys, Elijah and Ethan. Denita believes no day is complete without a cup of coffee, enjoys curling up with a good romance novel, and loves spending time with friends and family, especially her two boys!
SURESH NAGAPPAN, MD, MSPH (he/him/his)
Cone Health Site Director
Dr. Nagappan is the director of the Pediatric Teaching Program at Cone Health. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received his MD from Michigan State University and his MSPH from the University of North Carolina. He has served in several roles with the School of Medicine since joining the faculty in 2004. In his role with the residency, he oversees the clinical rotations at Cone Health and the Primary Care Residency. He enjoys hiking, biking, playing the ukulele (badly), and hanging out with his two teenage kids.
WILL PARKER, MD (he/him/his)
Will attended the University of North Carolina for both undergraduate and medical school. Will is a huge music nerd; he enjoys listening to music and playing guitar and drums in his spare time. He also loves anything outdoors, including hiking, running, and biking. He and his girlfriend couples matched at UNC; she is an internal medicine resident. Together, they have a dog named Zuzu who is a bundle of constant energy and enthusiasm! He chose to remain at UNC because of “the people! The faculty, residents and staff are all incredibly supportive and friendly. UNC has a culture of learning and teaching in a supportive environment, and I couldn’t imagine a better teamwork-oriented atmosphere than at UNC! I am excited to train in the diverse clinical settings, and I am honored to be able to serve the population of my home state while doing so.”
XAVIER WILLIAMS, MD, MPH (he/him/his)
Xavier received both his undergraduate degree and medical degree from the University of Florida. He is a self-proclaimed food connoisseur…really, he just loves to eat, especially food from other cultures. He loves being outdoors, mentoring, and years ago, he may or may not have been on a hip-hop dance crew! Xavier chose UNC because of “its excellent clinical training, true commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the people (especially our amazing PD)! I quickly realized on interview day that UNC is a place where I would thrive and have the opportunity to advocate for my patients and families.”
ERIC ZWEMER, MD (he/him/his)
Associate Program Director
Dr. Zwemer is a pediatric hospitalist at the NC Children’s Hospital. He completed his undergraduate work at Princeton University, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and completed residency and Chief Residency at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Zwemer joined the UNC faculty in 2015. In his role as APD, he serves as a class advisor, oversees the handoff curriculum, and organizes an annual resident bowling competition complete with trophies (note: he is not good at bowling). In his free time, Dr. Zwemer is a self-proclaimed book nerd, tries to pretend he’s in shape by attending Orangetheory fitness classes, and is currently learning to play the ukulele. He and his wife Lillian are the proud parents to a daughter and a son.