New York, New York, USA

Meet Dr. Veronica Wiltshire – A Pediatrician On A Mission to End Child Sexual Abuse

Dr. Veronica Nicola Wiltshire is the daughter of Joan and Kenneth Jackson. She grew up in Victoria Village, Guyana and attended Enmore Hope Primary school. At the age of 10, her family migrated to Antigua and Barbuda where she attended Princess Margaret    Secondary School. Her time in Antigua lasted only three years due to Hurricane Luis which occurred in 1995. After the devastation from Hurricane Luis, she was sent to live in Brooklyn, New York to continue her education. She attended Canarsie High School. There she accomplished many awards and graduated as the Valedictorian for the class of 1998. She received a Presidential Scholarship to attend St Francis College in Brooklyn, New York as a Biology major. While in college she received the Who’s Who Among     Colleges and Universities Award and became a member of the National Honor Society. She graduated college with honors in 2002.  

Dr. Wiltshire experienced many hurdles on her way to achieving her goal as a    physician. The biggest one being an undocumented immigrant which made it very difficult for her to advance to the next level of education. Instead of giving up, for two years she volunteered her time at various hospitals in Brooklyn and felt great pride in doing       whatever task was given to her at the time, no matter how tedious it was. She always kept hope alive and believed in God that everything will work out in His time.  

Without proper immigration documents at that time she was unable to apply to medical school in the United States. So, in 2004, using a travel document, she started Ross University school of Medicine in Dominica, West Indies. She completed medical school successfully. During those four years of medical school, she also finally obtained her US permanent resident status. While in medical school she realized that she felt most rewarded when helping children who were sick and making them smile. So, it was no   surprise when in 2008 she started a Pediatric Residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn New York. She graduated the residency program in 2011 and has been practicing medicine as a Pediatrician at the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health     Center in the Far Rockaway, Queens. She became  the Director of Pediatrics in January 2019 and after five months was promoted to Chief medical officer. As Chief medical      officer she oversees the clinical operations of six different clinic sites.

Dr Wiltshire enjoys working in the community clinics because she gets to visit the neighboring schools for talks, health fairs and numerous career day events. She also gets to see her patients when they are in the corner stores, shopping centers, churches and even in their homes when she gets invited to their birthday and graduation celebrations. Being able to have a positive impact on the young people in the community is extremely rewarding. 

Dr. Wiltshire allows high school and college students to shadow her during her clinic day. This allows them hands on experience and exposure to medicine. She mentors, writes a lot of recommendation letters and reviews the students various applications and personal statements so as to help ease their journey through college and medical school. She was never blessed with such an opportunity. Since starting this mentorship program about 7 years ago, the students who applied to college and medical school through her mentorship have been accepted to great schools and are doing well. Dr. Wiltshire plans to make her mentorship program an official foundation that will also expand into mentoring youths in Guyana. Dr. Wiltshire has donated to schools in Victoria Village and felt most proud when she was able to donate the first computer to Victoria Nursery School which she credits for giving her a solid foundation. She is also part of the Health Education    Relief Organization (HERO) which allows her to give back to Guyana through their     medical missions. The best part of the medical mission for her is being able to go back to treat children in the village she grew up in and share her knowledge with the local doctors and healthcare providers there.

Dr Wiltshire was awarded the Danny Glover Women of Power award in 2018 for   empowering rural women and girls. She was also nominated for the American Academy of Pediatrics education award in 2019.  She was also the recipient of the 2019 Guyanese Girls Rock Women of Influence Award. 

Child physical and sexual abuse Protection and Advocacy is an area of interest to Dr. Wiltshire. She believes that we can put an end to child abuse by educating parents and communities and devotes her spare time to do just that. “Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” said Nelson Mandela. Dr Wiltshire also has interest in childhood   obesity and community wellness.

Dr. Wiltshire is married to Colin Wiltshire Jr and has three amazing boys, Ethan (11) ,Seth (8) and Jaxson (10 months).  Her wish is that young people, especially those who are DREAMers,  will have confidence and hope. “One, one dutty build dam” and “han wash han mek han come clean,” are two of her favorite Guyanese proverbs. They sum up her belief that once we work together, cooperate, support and give back to our          communities we can and we will  accomplish great things.  

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