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Obiefuna P. Okoye, MD, MPH

Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Obiefuna Okoye was named the 2020 UNC Health Southeastern Dr. D.E. Ward, Jr., Provider of Excellence. The award, established in 2017, is presented on an annual basis to a provider who best embodies the attributes exhibited by the late Dr. Ward.

Dr. Obiefuna Okoye, left, is presented with UNC Health Southeastern’s Dr. D.E. Ward, Jr., Provider of Excellence Award by Dr. Joe Roberts, UNC Health Southeastern Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.

“Dr. Okoye epitomizes what a physician should strive to be,” said Dr. Joe Roberts, UNC Health Southeastern Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, who presented Dr. Okoye with a crystal award on March 10 in UNC Health Southeastern’s Sharpe Board Room. “He is extremely humble and is readily accessible to any UNC Health Southeastern provider. He is always so pleasant and patient both with staff and patients. He has worked tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic in keeping the medical staff up to date on CDC guidelines and new treatment modalities as they relate to COVID-19. He has also been instrumental in helping hospital administration set hospital policy to ensure safety to patients and staff. Dr. D E Ward was a truly remarkable man and physician and I cannot think of anyone that embodies that persona more than Dr. Okoye. We are truly privileged to have him on our medical staff and in our community.”

Dr. Okoye is affiliated in private practice with Carolina Infectious Diseases and serves as Medical Director of Infection Control for UNC Health Southeastern. He joined the health system in 2008.

He earned bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degrees from the University of Nigeria in 1996. He also earned a master of public health and tropical medicine degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, La., in 2006. He completed an internal medicine residency at Huron Hospital in Ohio in 2004 as well as a fellowship in infectious diseases from Tulane University in 2006.

“I am still in shock to receive this award, humbled, and wish to thank the administration and staff of UNC Health Southeastern for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful team and community,” said Dr. Okoye. “I also would like to dedicate this award to all those we have lost during this pandemic and to all the healthcare workers who continue to work hard to take care of patients during this pandemic.”

The Dr. D.E. Ward Jr. Provider of Excellence Award is named in honor of Dr. Ward’s 58 years of service on the UNC Health Southeastern medical staff and for his tireless devotion to providing the highest quality of care to his patients, as well as his continuous efforts to improve the health system and the community. Previous winners include Drs. John Rozier, Robin Peace, and Samuel Britt.