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2022 Annual Business Meeting

2022 Candidate Biographies

PRESIDENT: Joel E. Bruce, MD ’87

Dr. Joel Bruce was born in South Hill, Va., and attended Brunswick Senior High school in Lawrenceville, Va. He attended UVA from 1979 to 1983. He was a four-year member of the US Air Force ROTC detachment. He graduated with a degree in chemistry and a US Air Force officer’s commission. He attended UVA School of Medicine from 1983 to 1987. While there, he was a charter member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity graduate chapter at UVA.

Dr. Bruce completed his internal medicine residency at the Wright-Patterson USAF Hospital in Dayton, Ohio in 1990. He then completed his nephrology fellowship at Wilford Hall USAF Hospital/ University of Texas at San Antonio in 1992. He remained in the program as a clinical professor and director of dialysis services from 1992 to 1996. His academic responsibilities included teaching medical students, residents, and fellows from the two programs as well as the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. In 1996 he left the US Air Force with the rank of Major and joined Southeast Renal Associates in Charlotte, NC. He was the president of the group when it merged with Metrolina Nephrology Associates in 2010. He remains in the practice today and is a member of its executive board. He spearheads many of the practice’s home dialysis initiatives. He is on the DaVita Dialysis home therapies national advisory board and is also a past president of the Charlotte, Medical and Pharmaceutical Society. He is an elder at Matthews Murkland Presbyterian Church and remains active in community health education initiatives. He currently mentors medical students at UVA and two other medical schools.

Dr. Bruce has served as a member of the UVA Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2016. He was named the UVA Medical Alumnus of the Year for 2021 for his work with the SMNA chapter and helping plan the inaugural UVA Black Medical Alumni Weekend for April 2022.

He met his wife, Faye, an ICU nurse at the time, during his residency. Faye was a battlefield nurse during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. She currently works as a nurse educator with Fresenius Kidney Care. They have two sons. Teyon lives in Richmond and is a graphic artist. Jadarius lives in Charlotte and is a residential real estate adviser.


Dr. Nora Kern was born in South Boston, Va., a small town in south central Virginia. After graduating from Halifax County High School, she attended the University of Virginia for her undergraduate degrees in Studio Art and Biology.  She was awarded Phi Beta Kappa during her undergraduate schooling. She stayed at the University of Virginia for her medical degree and decided to finally leave Virginia for residency in urology.  She completed a one-year internship in general surgery at Boston University Medical Center in Boston, Mass., and completed her residency in urology at the same institution.  While in residency, she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society for her dedication to medical student and resident education.

After her residency, she completed a two-year fellowship in pediatric urology at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC.  Following fellowship, she returned to the University of Virginia to take a faculty position within the Department of Urology where she is now an associate professor in the department.  She serves in several leadership roles including associate program director for the Urology Residency, fourth year clerkship director for the Urology ACE, executive member of the Academy for Excellence in Education serving as chair for the Building Community Sub-Committee, AOA Faculty Councilor for UVA’s chapter, and member of the Admissions Committee for UVA School of Medicine. Regionally and nationally, she serves as the chair of the Mid-Atlantic Pediatric Urology Research Consortium and member of the organizing committee for the Urology Collaborative Online Video Didactics (COVID) lecture series that was created in response to the COVID shutdown.

Dr. Kern is very much invested in the School of Medicine. She loves her time with the second-year medical students during her teaching sessions as part of the Cells to Society curriculum on the genitourinary tract. She also serves as faculty mentor for students entering in the field of urology as well as other fields. She is dedicated to increasing the diversity of students into the medical field and urology. She has published 25 manuscripts and had 50 abstracts presented.

Dr. Kern is married to her loving and supportive husband, John, and they have two sons together. They live in Charlottesville, VA.  Together, they love gardening, cooking (he cooks/she eats), fly-fishing, and taking weekend trips to the Homestead and Greenbrier. Dr. Kern is an avid tennis player and cake and cookie decorator.

SECRETARY: Roberta L. DeBiasi, MD ‘92

Roberta Lynn DeBiasi, MD, MS is chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC. She holds appointments as tenured professor of pediatrics and microbiology, immunology and tropical medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine as well as principal investigator in the Center for Translational Research within Children’s Research Institute.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Boston University, she received her Doctorate in Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed pediatrics internship and residency at the University of California, Davis Medical Center. She completed her fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Colorado/Denver Children’s Hospital and served on the faculty for ten years in Denver, prior to joining Children’s National/GWU in 2005.

Dr. DeBiasi treats normal and immunocompromised children hospitalized with severe infections at Children’s National Hospital. She is designated as a Top Doctor for Northern Virginia and by Washingtonian Magazine.  She is co-lead of the CNHS Emerging and Highly Contagious Infectious Disease Task Force (including Ebola and COVID-19), the Acute Flaccid Myelitis Task Force, and the  CNHS Congenital Infection Program (including Zika virus), interfacing with regional, national and international authorities in these roles. She is the institutional lead of the Lyme Clinical Trials Network.

Dr. DeBiasi’s research expertise includes basic science as well as clinical/translational research. She serves as principal investigator for multiple projects and clinical trials focusing on severe and emerging viral infections, and Lyme Disease. Research awards have included the Infectious Diseases Society of America Young Investigator Award, as well as the John Horsley Prize from UVA.  She co-leads Zika-focused research in the US and South America in pregnant women and infants and leads COVID-19 research at Children’s National. She is principal investigator for a six-year comprehensive follow up study of children with COVID-19 and MIS-C in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, as well as a study focused on long-term outcomes in children with all stages of Lyme disease.

Dr. DeBiasi has authored over 100 original peer-reviewed research, review articles, and book chapters.  She greatly enjoys teaching and mentoring graduate and medical students, residents, and fellows in the classroom, the hospital wards, and in research. She is also actively engaged in continuing medical education for community physicians, outreach to the community, and educating the public via media appearances on NPR radio, local and national newspapers and television.

MEMBER OF THE BOARD: Ferdinand D. Yates, Jr., MD ‘78

Dr. Nick Yates was born in Richmond, Va., and attended Osbourn Senior High School in Manassas, Virginia – graduating third in his class with a college scholarship award and a leadership award. He attended the University of Virginia where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry in 1974, and subsequently Doctor of Medicine in 1978.

Dr. Yates completed a residency in general pediatrics at the State University of New York at Buffalo and entered into private practice in 1981; he ultimately became managing partner and senior pediatrician for a single-specialty pediatric group and practiced pediatric medicine for over 40 years. During those years, he became professor of clinical pediatrics at SUNYAB and subsequently became the medical director for a federally qualified health care center in Buffalo. More recently he transitioned to a part-time position north of Atlanta, where he retired in 2020 during the COVID pandemic.

Dr. Yates earned a Master of Arts in Bioethics at Trinity International University in 2004 and was appointed adjunct professor of bioethics at Trinity in 2008. During this phase of his professional career, he served as a member of the Bioethics Executive Committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics, helped to produce written guidance on the Ethics Commission of the Christian Medical-Dental Association, and served on hospital ethics committees in the Buffalo area. He also published articles in refereed journals, developed a hospital-based ethics teaching and consultative service, wrote numerous articles for professional and lay sources, produced several reviews of books and movies, and delivered presentations for regional, national and international events.

Dr. Yates and his wife, Jackie, have been married for over 40 years and have two daughters and four grandchildren. They relocated to Ruckersville, Va., in 2021 to enjoy retirement. They are members at Spring Hill Baptist Church, where Dr. Yates serves on committees, co-leads a Sunday School class, and offers clarinet music for worship. He is presently participating in the Standardized Patient Program for the UVA Medical School. His non-medical-ethical interests include cooking, golf, music, and student education.

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