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. We are thrilled that she has been named as our Program Director, and we look forward to the energy and innovations she will bring!
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 become the ACGME Designated Institutional Official for all UNC GME training programs. She remains active with our program in her role as Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Pediatrics.
Associate Program Directors
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 kayaking, and is mildly obsessed with Minerva, her Chesapeake Bay retriever.
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 as APD, he oversees all aspects of the program at WakeMed. 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.
Dr. Gable is a general pediatrician at Cone Health. She is a Demon Deacon through and through, having completed her undergraduate, medical and residency training at Wake Forest University. Dr. Gable served as Medical Director of the newborn nursery at Cone until 2009 when she became Program Director of the Pediatric Teaching Program there. In her role as APD, she is in charge of all facets of the program at Cone Health; she is also the director of the UNC Primary Care Pediatrics Residency. Dr. Gable enjoys playing bridge, has never been seen without a cup of Bruegger’s Bagel tea in hand, and loves a stylish pair of heels.
Dr. Perry is a general pediatrician and adolescent specialist at the NC Children’s Hospital. She attended Princeton University for undergrad and the University of Massachusetts for medical school. She completed residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and adolescent medicine fellowship training at UCSF and Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Perry came to UNC in May of 2017. In her role as APD, she is a class advisor, director of our Adolescent Medicine rotation, and directory of our Continuity Clinic. Dr. Perry enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 children. As a family they like to travel, ski & snowboard or just hang out at home watching a good movie. Dr. Perry loves candy and has been known to eat a box of Peeps in under 5 minutes.
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.
Joelle attended Florida State University for both undergraduate and medical school. She chose to come to UNC for residency because “during my away rotation I was embraced by the fun, caring, and kind residents at UNC. They made me feel right at home and I enjoyed every day of learning from them and the enthusiastic faculty. It was clear to me that UNC would be a wonderful place for my husband and me to come train at!” Joelle loves traveling, exploring the outdoors, and singing in the car after a long day. Joelle is planning on a career in Hospital Medicine and will complete PHM fellowship training at Cincinnati Children’s.
Hillary double majored in Biology and Psychology at the University of Georgia. She completed her medical education at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Hillary chose UNC Pediatrics because “the people I met during my interview seemed so supportive of one another and genuinely happy to be at UNC. It was also a program with both access to all the pediatric subspecialties and the opportunity to learn in a community hospital setting.” She loves the beach, hiking, food, all varieties of desserts, and the occasional lottery ticket – she rarely wins, but she still hasn’t given up hope. After her Chief year, Hillary plans to pursue fellowship training in Cardiology at the University of Michigan.
Liz earned a BS in Biology from Wingate University, where she also played volleyball. She received her DO from Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine. Liz chose UNC Pediatrics because it’s an “amazing program”, she had an “awesome experience with residents and faculty during her away rotation”, and it’s “close to home and family”. She has completed a half Ironman competition; enjoys gardening, thrift shopping, and cooking; and has a weakness for cookie dough. Liz and her husband are proud parents to a dog-like cat named Chi – she fetches and sits. Completing one residency wasn’t enough for Liz; after her Chief year, she will be joining the Anesthesiology Residency Training Program at UNC.
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 is mom to Ruffin, her beloved Chihuahua, and doting aunt to her nephew, Atticus McRadicus. Kelly thinks Bon Jovi is the best band ever, dreams of one day owning a pet flamingo, and bleeds Carolina Blue – GO HEELS!
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!
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!