Ob/Gyn Chair Plans to Step Down Next Year

July 11, 2012

After ten years of distinguished service as chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, James R. Woods, Jr., M.D., has announced that he will complete his final term on June 30, 2013, to focus more closely on the newly opened, freestanding Women’s Health Center, the expansion of the Peri-FACTS Academy, and a new granddaughter. 

Since being appointed the Henry A. Thiede Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2002, Woods has nurtured the partnership between Strong Memorial and Highland Hospital. With its 48 community physicians and 45 full-time faculty physicians, the department is now considered a model of town/gown collaboration and a magnet for outstanding residents and fellows. The department has also been an early adopter of safety practices that earned it the National ACOG Service Award for patient safety and use of simulation in 2010. Woods has chaired the Medical Center’s Council of Clinical Chairs since 2004. Twice in the last five years, the Gynecology service has been ranked in the top 36 programs in US News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in America listing. 

Under Woods’ leadership, Ob/Gyn has established successful, community-based women’s health programs at the Women’s Pavilion in Henrietta, and recently opened a new 21,000 square-foot URMC Women’s Health Center on Lattimore Road. In addition, the department has a long-standing relationship to provide services at the Anthony Jordan Health Center, and founded the annual Women’s Screening Health Fair at the Rochester Public Market which is sponsored by the Rochester Mayor’s Office. In 1996, the James R. Woods Endowed Professorship in Maternal Fetal Medicine was established.

“Jim has been a tireless advocate for women’s health and a champion of quality improvement,” said School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean Mark Taubman, M.D. “He has trained a generation of clinicians, many of whom continue to practice within the region. And through his Peri-FACTS network, he’s had a global impact on women’s health.”

The Peri-FACTS Academy is an on-line, multimedia continuing education source for Ob/Gyn health care professionals. Woods created the resource in 1991 to address the lack of standardized fetal heart rate monitoring education for doctors and nurses working at smaller community hospitals. Today, Peri-FACTS educates more than 12,000 providers nationwide as well as subscribers in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. In addition, 230 nursing schools with over 15,000 students use the program for their initial education in obstetrics. 

“I’m very proud of the department’s achievements over the last ten years. It is a tribute to the Ob/Gyn faculty and staff whose collective spirit and commitment have earned us national recognition,” Woods said. “But, I have asked Dean Taubman to initiate a search for a new chairperson so that I can expand the Peri-FACTS program more globally, something that will require more of my time than my current position can afford.” 

Taubman said that a national search for the next Ob/Gyn chair will begin this fall. Woods will remain as a tenured member of the faculty, contributing to department and Medical Center-wide initiatives. 

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