Dr. Alex Wilson’s heart is set on improving the quality of care
CHILLICOTHE – He was a fun-loving kid, with a real talent for music. Well, really, little has changed – except his life’s mission.
“I was a jokester as a child and kept everyone laughing,” recalled Alex Wilson. “I was a storyteller but was serious and engaged at school. I wanted to be a high school marching band director for a long time and have written marching band shows as well as taught marching bands in the past.”
Then life took a turn.
“When I was 13,” he continued, “my grandmother was diagnosed with a breast cancer that she had known about and not told the family. It spread before we knew of her, and we moved in with her to take care of her during her treatment of her. This inspired me to help people enjoy the longest and best lives possible after diagnosis with cancer.”
Today, he’s Dr. William A. “Alex” Wilson, MD, radiation oncologist and medical director at Adena Cancer Center.
“My heart,” he said, “is set on improving the quality of, and the extent of, services available to our local and surrounding communities. It’s why I come to work every day – to do my very best that day, to give the best to the patients in front of me, and to plan for the future to provide more for the patients needing treatment in a few years.”
“In addition to planning for our local patients,” he added, “I serve on committees at the National Cancer Institute and at NRG oncology with the purpose of providing higher quality cancer care in smaller communities and providing more resources for cancer patients in need in rural and underserved areas.”
By the way, I have noted, “I currently play piano and I take voice lessons. It helps me cope with stress and has been particularly helpful during the COVID19 pandemic. And I think people would describe me as kind and fun-loving. We try to keep each other motivated with humor to stay positive and engaged for our patients.”
Now 38, Wilson grew up in Carlisle, Kentucky, a town of 2000 people halfway between Lexington and Morehead. He graduated from high school in Carlisle in 2001. He went on to study biology and music at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY – where he was choir president and received the outstanding achievement award for band. He then went to medical school at the University of Kentucky where he was class president.
“I designed marching band shows and taught marching band for very small bands,” he recalled. “I designed and taught two Kentucky state finalist marching band shows and worked with a second group as well. But as medical training became more intense, I stopped this work.”
Wilson started at Adena in July 2014.
“I wanted to work with patients in rural communities,” he said, “and ever since I’ve been here, I’ve worked hard to make Adena Cancer Care the highest quality with the most resources possible. Adena is very supportive of the cancer center and provided the technology and infrastructure to have a very high-quality program. Adena does the right things for the right reasons. That’s why I work here.”
“Dr. Wilson has the biggest heart for his patients,” assessed Erin Woltz, RN, System Service Line Director–Oncology and Palliative Care. “He’s calm during their storm and they trust him to help guide them through the most trying part of their life. He’s empathic and genuine in the times of struggle and he can bring smiles to our patients’ faces when they need it most. We’re very blessed to have a physician like Dr. Wilson here at Adena.”
“I wouldn’t want to change anything,” Wilson replied. “Every day I plan for years down the road to keep cancer care moving forward for our patients. It drives me to continue to work with passion every day.”
Adena Cancer Center is located at 4435 State Route 159 in Chillicothe. For more information, call 740-542-3030 or log on www.adena.org.
About the series
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at email@example.com or 740-349-1110.