Dr. Cheryl Woodson spent more than 30 years teaching and practicing Geriatric Medicine. In ten of those years, she also cared for a parent with dementia. As a tireless advocate for seniors and their families, Dr. Woodson prepares professional and family caregivers, communities and corporations to serve seniors successfully. She also supports families to give excellent eldercare without sacrificing their own health, finances, and relationships.
Dr. Woodson graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. After internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Temple University Hospital in her hometown of Philadelphia, she completed a two-year fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at UCLA. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, and is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American Geriatrics Society (AGS).
Dr. Woodson spent the first ten years of her career directing Geriatrics education programs at The University of Chicago and Northwestern University Medical Schools. Deciding to decrease her commute to spend more time with her children, she developed clinical Geriatrics services for a health system in her community, where her leadership earned designation as a Primary Provider Site by the Alzheimer’s Association (a unique honor for a non-university affiliated program.) In 2001, she founded Woodson Center for Adult Health Care (named for her parents,) adding the tag line, “when you’ve outgrown the kid stuff.” Woodson Center was one of the few subspecialty-level, community-based Geriatrics program in the country, possibly to only one that was privately-owned and also offered primary care Internal Medicine services to empower adults of all ages to AGE EXCELLENTLY! Despite an 80% Medicare funding base, Dr. Woodson managed the Center successfully for over eleven years without doing anything illegal, or starving. Dedication to patient and family communication, proactive wellness interventions, aggressive care coordination, and sound practice management allowed her to offer excellent patient outcomes and stop hospital practice by 2007.
Throughout her career, Dr. Woodson has developed clinical service systems that avoided unnecessary hospitalization. She has also implemented practice management strategies that led to excellent clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction while following cost-effective business principles. She has designed educational programs for physicians, other professionals, and the community. She also supports family caregivers, sharing professional and personal expertise with a unique perspective that tempers professional information with practical solutions. Because of her commitment to enhancing Geriatrics education, crafting more relevant eldercare public policy, and improving the quality of life for America’s seniors, Dr. Woodson served on several national committees; she was an AGS board member and a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and is still a Trustee of the Retirement Research Foundation.
In 2007, she published TO SURVIVE CAREGIVING: A Daughter’s Experience, A Doctor’s Advice, a practical eldercare guide, which has never been out of the top ten caregiving titles on Amazon.com. In 2011, AARP ranked the book among the top ten national eldercare resources, and the National Alzheimer’s Association lists it among its preferred resources. Dr. Woodson has also published medical textbook chapters, articles in peer-reviewed journals and national magazines. She is a frequent media guest and active blogger who contributes to NYTimes.com, and guest blogs for sharecare.com (Oprah and Dr. Oz’s site), Joan Lunden, and other websites of interest to Babyboomers.
An informative, inspiring, and entertaining speaker whom the New York Times called “a blunt and funny woman,” Dr. Woodson shoots from the hip and from the heart to improve the lives of seniors and their caregivers, increase the number of professionals trained in Geriatrics, and empower them to manage their practices in a way that maximizes independence and quality of life for their patients and themselves.