Dr. Wilson is a 1975 graduate of the IU School of Medicine. He joined the Indiana University faculty in 1979 and has been involved in many varied programs during his career, all directed at improving the health of children. In 1979, he founded the Indiana Poison Control Center and served as its medical director until 1983. He also has been a public health pediatrician in Appalachia, director of the Pediatric Intensive Case Management Program at Wishard Memorial Hospital, section director of Developmental Pediatrics at Riley Hospital, co-founder of the Riley Robotic Rehabilitation Center, and has served as president of the Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
He was involved with the development of the State's First Steps program, which emphasizes early intervention for children who are at-risk or have developmental disabilities. He was one of the first pediatricians at IU to be board certified in neurodevelopmental disabilities.
In 2001, Governor Frank O'Bannon named him State Health Commissioner at the Indiana State Department of Health, where he served a four-year term before returning to the IU faculty. As Commissioner, he strengthened county and state public health infrastructure, established programs focused on reducing health disparities, especially in chronic diseases, established an Office of Environmental Public Health, a web-based immunization registry, and improved state systems that support public health preparedness and bioterrorism response. He received the National Governors Association Award for Distinguished Service to State Government, the Improving Chronic Illness Care National Vision Award, and a Sagamore of the Wabash award.
Internationally, he has worked in medical and public health programs in Kenya, Afghanistan, and in the Caribbean Islands. He presently serves as the Associate Chair for Community and Global Health, Department of Public Health, IU School of Medicine.