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Dr. James Wesdock, M.D., M.P.H. '85


Dr. James Wesdock is no stranger to the art of multitasking. An active participant in student activities at Gannon during his undergraduate career, Dr. Wesdock was a member of Tri Beta biological honor society and assisted in the reactivation of the Rho Chi chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. He has fond memories of attending Father Drexler’s Sunday evening prayer services held in the men’s residence hall.

After graduating from Gannon with a chemistry degree, Dr. Wesdock attended Hahnemann University School of Medicine. He first sought clinical training consistent with his formative years growing up in rural western Pennsylvania, completing a Family Medicine residency at the Medical Center of Delaware. Early practice experiences compelled Dr. Wesdock to seek a broader public health career path, leading to further residency training in Occupational & Environmental Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He then obtained his Master’s in Public Health through the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health.

Following his formal education and post-graduate clinical training, Dr. Wesdock solidified his clinical credentials through work within the provider-based occupational medicine sector. With time, aligned with his professional interests in public health, he accepted a position as Medical Officer within the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s Office of Occupational Medicine. Thereafter, he consulted with several Fortune 100 companies on a myriad of health and wellness topics.

With this array of foundational experiences, Dr. Wesdock’s passion for protecting the health of working populations had been fully reinforced. For the past 15 years, he has led the corporate medical function for Alcoa, a global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering, and manufacturing, and was recently named Alcoa’s Director of Health, with responsibility for industrial hygiene, occupational medicine, public health and employee wellness across the company’s global operations.

Complementing this population medicine-oriented work and wanting to maintain the human connection that can only be experienced through direct patient care, he engages in limited clinical practice within a family medicine setting. Seeing the need to improve on the health surveillance needs of local fire, police, and EMS personnel within his community, he and a colleague launched CompassMD, a clinical occupational health practice focused on public safety medicine.

He travels extensively worldwide, and also holds a position as an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Community Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has published professional articles in multiple occupational and environmental health-affiliated medical journals. Among several extracurricular interests.

Dr. Wesdock is an accomplished woodworker, with craftsman-style furniture a particular passion, and is an avid marathon runner. Dr. Wesdock currently resides in Midlothian, Virginia with his wife, Kimberly, a pediatric physical therapist. After 30 years as a practicing clinician, Kimberly joined a small team of physical therapists within a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel treatments for rare genetic diseases. The couple has three sons – Matthew, Christopher and Timothy.

His advice for current and future Gannon students is to strive daily to emulate Catholic ideals, seek out unique and varied opportunities to learn, and to never lose the humility to engage with individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds, as everyone has something to teach, and they can expand one’s worldview profoundly.

(Published June 2016)