At the Alumni Weekend Awards Banquet, Rooney Coffman (’68) , Director of Logistics, Distinguished Merit, delivered the following introduction.
Fall 1989 found Kevin on the campus of St. Andrews Presbyterian College joining the men of Mecklenburg Hall where he met Dr. Neil Bushoven, the resident director of Mecklenburg. It is here where Kevin took an early and short-lived interest in plants. I will leave that story for Kevin to tell if he so desires. Kevin learned of the flexibility of a small college when Dr. Dennis McCracken agreed to teach a course just for him. He was surprised to find that Dr. McCracken met all of the classes and further learned you must be prepared when you are the only student in the class. Kevin also worked as an Elf and served as one of the “A’s” and “B’s.” Elf is a nickname for my student workers who handle the preparation of labs, and the “A’s” and “B’s” were a group of specially trained volunteer students who kept the lab open after normal class hours. Stepping outside of the academic world, Kevin was a member of the first SA Bagpipe Band and also could be found frequently on the basketball court rounding out a handicapped football team.
Kevin earned his M.S. in Biology from Appalachian State University before attending Medical School at Wake Forest University. As a rising third year, he was awarded the Robert R. Perz Memorial Scholarship, which rewards excellence, not only in the pursuit of medicine, but also in personal values and interests outside of medicine. When he graduated in 1999, he was the recipient of the Medical Alumni Association Student Excellence Award, as the graduating student believed to best demonstrate the qualities of a complete physician: knowledge, compassion, and dedication.
He completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at the University of Alabama (UAB) at Birmingham. He served as chief resident for one year and then continued at UAB to complete a four-year fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Infectious Diseases. In 2007, he moved to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he served on faculty for Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Oncology and conducted research on cancer and immunology.
He returned to North Carolina in 2009, to accept a faculty position at Wake Forest Baptist Health Brenner Children’s Hospital. He served as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in Hematology/Oncology and Infectious Diseases. In addition to his clinical duties, a significant portion of his time was devoted to medical education, including training of pediatric residents and fellows, and serving as lecturer and facilitator of medical student courses in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. This even extended back to his Alma Mater. He prepared curricula designs for pre-med students and welcomed visitors from SA to learn about medical school.
In 2021, he was recruited by Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte to direct their Pediatric Transplant Infectious Disease program. (His official titles are Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in Infectious Diseases, Immunology, and Hematology/Oncology and Director of Pediatric Transplant Infectious Disease.) He maintains a commitment to medical education through supervision of interns and residents, and he is course director of the hospital-wide Pediatric Grand Rounds.
He has authored or co-authored multiple papers published in refereed medical journals, including (but not limited to) Journal of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, European Journal of Immunology, and Current Opinion in Oncology. He also serves as an expert peer reviewer for Journal of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.
Kevin is board certified in general pediatrics, pediatric infectious diseases, and pediatric hematology-oncology.
Yes, Kevin does have a life outside the world of medicine. He is married to Dr. Victoria Evans ’93. Dr. Evans received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Texas A&M and has a private practice in Rock Hill, SC. Dr. Evans caught the writing bug at SA and is currently completing her first novel – a middle school mystery.
In his spare time, he is passionate about music and plays the piano, violin, trombone, and bagpipes. He enjoys playing classical music, old-time fiddle music, and Irish fiddle music. Kevin loves the outdoors and spending time in the mountains and at the beach.
Let me share with you two quotations from his patients as a way of summing up Kevin as a doctor and a human being:
“He is the most caring and helpful doctor! Very knowledgeable and understanding and explains everything so I can understand and does everything best for my child. Very thankful for him as her doctor! Always does everything above and beyond for her and to help our little family understand her care. Specially because she is so small and it is scary, he brings me peace knowing he’s her doctor and gonna do everything for her!”
“Kevin was still at Wake Forest Baptist, when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, with her treatment performed in Florida. Kevin was offering emotional and information support already, but as we moved into treatment stages, he offered to be part of her care team, remotely, if that was acceptable to the Florida team. My mother-in-law showed up to her next appointment and her caregiver asked, “How do you know Dr. Buckley?” with some awe. The nurse confided that even though the hospitals were hundreds of miles apart, and Kevin was not in adult care, the Florida team “of course” knew about Dr. Buckley and were very pleased to have him as part of the care team. The nurse finished the conversation with “You’re so lucky to know Dr. Buckley. Everyone thinks the world of him.”
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Kevin Buckley the St. Andrews University 2023 Distinguished Alumni recipient.