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Investing in Public Health

Joyce Wood headshot
Joyce Wood, BU76, MBA77

​After more than 35 years as a successful businesswoman, Joyce Wood, BU76, MBA77, focuses on results: “I like to feel that I can see my contribution having an effect not just in the long term, but in the short term as well.”

Her interest in making an impact led her to Washington University’s Institute for Public Health, where she is a National Council member. She recently gave $2 million to endow the Joyce Wood Professorship, the university’s first endowed professorship in public health.

Ms. Wood is particularly interested in the multidisciplinary nature of the institute and its emphasis on applying academic knowledge. She views a donation to the institute as advancing the work of both the School of Medicine and the Brown School. And she hopes the institute’s work will translate into methods that improve global  health.

She also was attracted to the institute’s local work. After serving on the boards of rural hospitals, Ms. Wood has a particular interest in rural health care. “It’s becoming more and more difficult to service rural areas and the aging population there,” she says, “because access to highly specialized health care generally means people have to travel.” She hopes the institute’s work can increase access.

Her past generosity includes supporting a practicum for Master of Public Health students that focuses on using telecommunications to provide clinical health care from a distance.

After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Olin Business School, Ms. Wood worked as a tax manager at Arthur Andersen & Company before forming Wood & Associates, a management consulting firm based in Bonne Terre, Missouri.

A trustee, she has a long history of generously supporting Washington University. Donors, Ms. Wood says, are rewarded with the excitement of seeing the university’s impact on people’s lives.  Being involved with Washington University is very energizing. I feel I get a generous return on my investment.”

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