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Elizabth Woods
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Elizabeth R.  Woods, MD, MPH

Department: Medicine
Research Centers: Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Research Center
Hospital Title: Associate Chief, Division of Adolescent Medicine
Academic Title: Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Research Area: Adolescent risk behaviors
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Lab Web Site:  Community Asthma Initiative

Research Overview

Dr. Woods is the Director of the Boston Children's Hospital Community Asthma Initiative that provides nurse case management and home visits for 2-18 year-old patients seen in the emergency department or admitted to the hospital, and live in the communities close to the hospital.

For children participating in the Community Asthma Initiative after one year, recent data reflects the percentage of patients with emergency department visits at Children's was reduced by 57 percent and hospital admissions by 80 percent (p < 0.001).  In addition, the percentage of patients with any missed school days were reduced by 42 percent and missed work days (parents/caregivers) by 51 percent (p < 0.001).  The return on investment has been shown to be 1.46 at one year of follow up, and social return on investment of 1.73 including an estimate of the cost of missed school and work days.

Dr. Woods is also involved in several quality-improvement projects, including those to analyze the treatment of youth with asthma and eating disorders, and is evaluating health services utilization and access to health care for adolescents.

About Dr. Woods

Dr. Woods is a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, the Associate Chief of the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Director of the Children’s Hospital Boston’s Community Asthma Initiative (2005-present), and Chair of the Asthma Quality Improvement Committees at Boston Children's Hospital.  She was the Principal Investigator for the CDC REACH US to address health disparities, and currently Healthy Tomorrows, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, to improve access to asthma care for children and families living in poor communities of Boston.  Dr. Woods has been the Director of Research or Director of Quality Improvement and Evaluation for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s (MCHB) Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Project since 1992, and has extensive experience supervising the research and program evaluation projects of fellows and faculty members.  Dr. Woods was the external Evaluator for the Young Parents Program’s Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Program Grants, which offered comprehensive adolescent parenting services (1999-2012), and Consulting Evaluator for the Families United for Teen Health Project (1994-2010). She was the  previous Director of the Boston HAPPENS program for HIV positive and homeless youth (1993-2008), Adolescent Health Expert for the Robert Wood Johnson funded Infant Health and Development Project (2001-2005) and the Boston Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit (2003-2006), and Co-I of the Boston Adolescent Trials Network Unit (2001-2006). She was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (2003-2005) to develop a new measure of provider-patient communication scale related to adolescent reproductive care visits. Dr. Woods has authored over 102 original publications, authoritative reviews and chapters in the areas of quality improvement, health services research, program development and evaluation, adolescent risk behaviors, STD screening, teen pregnancy, asthma care, and HIV services and care.  She is an associate editor for the 5th edition of the widely read textbook entitled Adolescent Health Care: A Practical Guide and the accompanying handbook (2008).

Key Publications

  • Woods ER, Bhaumik U, Sommer SJ, Ziniel SI, Kessler AJ, Chan E, Wilkinson RB, Sesma M, Burack AB, Klements EM, Queenin LM, Dickerson DU, Nethersole S. Community Asthma Initiative: Evaluation of a Quality Improvement Program for Comprehensive Asthma Care. Pediatrics 2012;129:465-472.
  • Forman SF, Grodin LF, Graham DA, Sylvester CJ, Rosen DS, Kapphahn CJ, Callahan ST, Sigel EJ, Bravender T, Peebles R, Romano M, Rome ES, Fisher M, Malizio JB, Mammel KA, Hergenroeder AC, Buckelew SM, Golden NH, Woods ER. An eleven site national quality improvement (QI) evaluation of adolescent medicine-based eating disorder programs: predictors of weight outcomes at one year and risk adjustment analyses. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2011:49;594-600.
  • Forman SF, Woods ER. Editorial: Youth, risks, and chronic illness. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2011; 23:365-366.
  • Woods ER, Buka SL, Martin CR, Salganik M, Howard MB, Gueguen JA, Brooks-Gunn J, McCormick MC. Assessing youth risk behavior in a clinical trial setting: lesions from the infant health and development program. J Adolesc Health. 2010;46:429-236.
  • Woods ER, Klein JD, Wingood GM, Rose ES, Wypij D, Harris SK, Diclemente RJ. Development of a new Adolescent Patient-Provider Interaction Scale (APPIS) for youth at risk for STDs/HIV. J Adolesc Health. 2006;38(6):753.e1-7.
  • Harris SK, Samples CL, Keenan PM, Fox DJ, Melchiono MW, Woods ER, Outreach, mental health, and case management services: can they help to retain HIV-positive and at-risk youth and young adults in care? Matern Child Health J. 2003;7(4):205-18.
  • Woods ER, Obeidallah-Davis D, Sherry MK, Ettinger SL, Simms EU, Dixon RR, Missal SM, Cox JE. The parenting project for teen mothers: the impact of a nurturing curriculum on adolescent parenting skills and life hassles. Ambul Pediatr. 2003;3(5):240-5.
  • Neinstein LS, Gordon CM, Katzman DK, Rosen DS, Woods ER (eds). Adolescent Health Care: A Practical Guide. In: Adolescent Health Care: A Practical Guide. 5th edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.
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