Vicksburg physician set to take top spot with state’s medical association

Published 3:37 pm Friday, September 18, 2020

For a fourth time, a member of Vicksburg’s medical community is poised to take the top leadership position with the Mississippi State Medical Association.

Vicksburg pediatrician Dr. Geri Weiland was elected the association’s president-elect in August. She becomes association president in August 2021 and will join three other Vicksburg doctors who have held the association’s top post.

Drs. Briggs Hopson Jr., Randy Easterling and Dan Edney have each lead the association. 

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A former resident of Pascagoula, Weiland is a graduate of LSU and the University of Mississippi Medical School and has been practicing at Merit Health River Region since 1983. She was serving as the association’s first female speaker of the house in more than 150 years before becoming president-elect.

“I’m not the first female president, but the fourth Vicksburg president, which I think is another testament to Vicksburg’s involvement in organized medicine,” she said.

Weiland said her election is “an honor and a little scary because it’s a commitment for a lot of work. I’ve been in a leadership position for over 11 years as the vice speaker and speaker, but this is going to be a little bit different to be the spokesperson for the organization.”

As president-elect, her primary responsibilities will involve trying to stay up with the association’s projects and its goals. She will also be observing association President Dr. W. Mark Horne.

“I have a year to learn,” she said.

Outside of its work involving public awareness of COVID-19 and assisting medical practices affected by the virus, Weiland said the association’s emphasis usually involves its legislative agenda and staying on top of things important to the physicians in the state.

“It’s mostly about trying to improve the health of Mississippians,” Weiland said. “A lot of times if you want that to happen you can do it through public service announcements, but you really have to work with the Legislature to get those things done that you hope will help Mississippians.”

As president, she said, “I feel like I want to promote health for Mississippians and see that we stay strong on vaccinations. I’d like to promote healthy eating, healthy lifestyles, vaccinations; all those things are important to me.

“As a pediatrician, to me, I realize if you don’t get children interested and young people interested in a healthy lifestyle and avoiding those things that are not healthy for you. It’s hard to do as an adult,” Weiland said. “I feel like I have lived long enough to have watched vaccines work. The medical community eliminated smallpox in the world. When I started my practice, polio was eliminated in the U.S. I’ve seen it work. I know the importance of it.”

Dr. Weiland is married to Michael Weiland Sr. Together they have a son, M. David Weiland Jr., who along with his wife, Courtney, have a son, Charlie.

M. David Weiland Jr., is a pediatric cardiologist at University Medical Center.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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