Parkersburg physician receives Advocate of the Year Award

Photo Provided Dr. Charles Whitaker receives Advocate of the Year Award from Dr. Jordan Beckett.

PARKERSBURG — Dr. Charles Whitaker of Parkersburg received the West Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Advocate of the Year Award at the 2019 Annual Spring Meeting on March 29.

Dr. Jordan Beckett introduced the award and spoke about Whitaker’s unending service and advocacy for West Virginia children’s heath issues, specifically testifying for Tobacco 21 legislation this past session of the Legislature.

Dr. Whitaker has been a valuable, influential and long-standing member of the West Virginia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, said Candice W. Hamilton, executive director of West Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Whitaker practiced medicine for 41 years from 1975-2016, retiring in June 2016.

He has been the health officer for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department since the fall of 2016.

Whitaker was the West Virginia Pediatrician of the Year in 2004. In 2012, he received the West Virginia AAP Special Achievement Award for Distinguished Service and Dedication.

Whitaker has been actively involved with the Wood County Society and has served on its board since 1978.

He is a member of St. Andrews United Methodist Church and has been involved with Boy Scout Troop 4 since 1984. He was awarded the Cross and Flame in 1990, and the District Award of Merit in 1996.

Whitaker has appeared in front of various committees of the state Legislature, advocating on behalf of children’s health issues.

He and his wife, Shirley, have three married children and six grandchildren.

Whitaker said he was surprised to receive the award because he has always considered himself to be an advocate for children and their needs. He enjoyed going to work everyday to see them and their parents, Whitaker said.