Current Environment:

Researcher | 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 58 percent and hospital admissions by 80 percent (p < 0.001). In addition, the percentage of patients with any missed school days were reduced by 45 percent and missed work days (parents/caregivers) by 53 percent (p < 0.001). The return on investment has been shown to be 1.91 at five years of follow up, 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.

Researcher | Research Background

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 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 for the Boston Adolescent Trials Network Unit (2001-2006). She was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (2003-2005) to develop a new provider-patient communication scale related to adolescent reproductive care visits. Dr. Woods has authored over 112 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).

Researcher | Publications