Pediatrician named president-elect of national academy
A pediatrician from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine has been elected to lead the nation’s most prestigious organization for the health and well-being of children.
Dr. Marion Burton, director of community pediatrics at the medical school and associate dean for clinical affairs, was installed Oct. 19 as president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In October 2010, Burton will become president of the organization, which comprises 60,000 pediatricians.
Burton said the award gives him the opportunity to broaden his work for children.
“This is an opportunity to serve children and my pediatric colleagues in a broader sense than I have ever been able to do before,” Burton said. “The American Academy of Pediatrics is internationally respected for its commitment to the health and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, young adults and their families. I consider my election as president-elect to be an extraordinary honor personally and professionally.”
Dr. Richard Hoppmann, dean of the medical school, said Burton’s unwavering commitment to children and families will serve him well as the AAP president.
“Throughout his career in medicine, Dr. Burton has been an advocate for children and their parents,” Hoppmann said. “It comes as no surprise to those of us who have worked with him that he will lead the American Academy of Pediatrics. He represents outstanding faculty in our School of Medicine, and he brings distinction to our medical school and the University of South Carolina through his leadership.”
A native of Abbeville, Burton was reared by his grandparents after his parents died. He graduated from Abbeville High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Clemson University. After graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), he continued his medical training in Charleston and at the Medical College of Georgia. Burton began his career in pediatrics in Anderson and taught in a primary-care residency program. He joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine in 1991 to establish a Division of Community Pediatrics and became medical director for the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services. He is responsible for reviewing Medicaid policies and services to ensure medical efficacy and approves treatment plans for individual patient cases for Medicaid, which provides healthcare coverage to approximately 930,000 low-income and disabled South Carolinians each year.
“We’re thrilled the academy selected Dr. Burton for this important position,” said Emma Forkner, director of the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services. “His medical expertise, sound judgment and genuine compassion for patients and families in need have been invaluable assets to our agency and the people of South Carolina. We’re extremely fortunate to have a physician and patient advocate of his caliber serving the Medicaid program.”
At the School of Medicine, Burton oversees the 210 physicians of the University Specialty Clinics and conducts locum tenens programs, which enable rural pediatricians to take time off from their practices by having other pediatricians fill in for them. A fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Burton helped establish 75 partnerships placing public-health professionals with practicing physicians to create medical homes for children. The group cares for children in University Primary Care offices, the S.C. Juvenile Justice System and special healthcare needs clinics.
Burton’s medical leadership roles include past president of the S.C. Medical Association and S.C. Pediatric Society. His extensive AAP service includes being chair of the AAP American Medical Association Delegation and holding numerous national offices within the organization. Among his honors are the Abraham Jacobi Award for long-term national contributions to pediatrics and the National Army Guard Flight Surgeon of the Year for excellence in care for military flight crews.
Burton and his wife, Debbie, have six children and seven grandchildren.
American Academy of Pediatrics
- What: Nation's prestigious organization for the health and well-being of children
- Who: Dr. Marion Burton, director of community pediatrics and associate dean for clinical affairs, to be installed as president-elect Oct. 19