Today is Dr. Michael Wilkes last official day as a member of the Yolo County Health Council. *** A celebrated physician and public health expert, Dr. Wilkes is board certified in Internal Medicine and has both a Masters in Public Health (Columbia) and a PhD in Public Health (UCLA) which made him the most highly educated member of the Yolo County Health Council and because of this dual training, one with particular expertise in the COVID pandemic.
On the UC Davis School of Medicine web site, Dr. Wilkes clinical expertise is described like this:
Michael Wilkes is widely known for his efforts to introduce medical students to the humanistic side of being a physician, and for working tirelessly to include the public health and social sciences as part of training physicians. During his tenure as Vice Dean of the Medical School he lead the way toward enormous changes in medical education at UC Davis including the rural prime program, the college system of mentoring, a new education building, and a dramatic shift away from lectures toward small group and interactive learning. Wilkes introduced UC Davis' "Doctoring" curriculum, a series of classes and seminars for all four years of medical school. Topics within the curriculum include doctor- patient communication, clinical reasoning and end-of-life care, to name but a few. Dr. Wilkes has extensive experience in the development, management, and evaluation of eLearning technologies. In his current capacity as Director of Global Health he works locally with the UC Davis Vet and Nursing faculty and with medical and health sciences schools around the world as they seek to train the most capable health providers to address local health needs. He serves as a reviewer for many medical publications. He is the Director of the UC Davis Adolescent Clinic.
Dr. Wilkes is equally well regarded as a public health expert and a frequently sought out speaker with a regular spot on NPR where he is the senior medical commentator. His segment is called "A Second Opinion"..... here is a very recent segment on COVID-19 vaccine distribution:
I think you will find it very thoughtful. You may want to listen to other of his audio files on various health, public health, and ethics and social justice topics.
This week-end Dr. Wilkes did a volunteer day of service (one of several actually) helping out as a volunteer with the Yolo County Vaccine Program which took place in Woodland. He recruited a team of 2 other faculty members and a dozen medical and nursing students to help the other volunteers vaccinate 1200 people yesterday!! Yes, that number is 1200 in one day! Needless to say it was a long day!
We should show appreciation for the heroes in our midst. Dr. Wilkes, a former chair of the Health Council for a number of years and described by one of the Health Council members as "The heart and the soul of the Health Council" will be greatly missed in his role as advisor to the Board of Supervisors, the Health Department and other members of the Health Council. If you happen to run into him you might just let him know you appreciate his service and share with him a "thank you!" At a proper social distance, of course. (Or by email... :)
*** Each Yolo County Supervisor is authorized to appoint one person to represent their District on the Health Council Dr. Wilkes was Supervisor Saylor's representative from District 2 on the Health Council. Supervisor Saylor elected to not renew Dr. Wilkes membership on the Health Council in December, causing Dr. Wilkes' tenure on the Council to be terminated effective today, January 31, 2021, at the end of his term.