INDIANAPOLIS – Michele Kuntz Wood, Manager of Women’s Health at Franciscan St. Francis Health is the recipient of the Health Care Heroes Award from the Indianapolis Business Journal for her work in women’s health.
The IBJ’s Health Care Heroes Awards breakfast was held earlier today (March 2) at the Conrad. This annual program recognizes individuals and organizations in the health care industry that make significant strides in health care improving the health and well being of the community.
Wood was awarded as the winner in the “non-physician” category. She was recognized for her crusading work in improving women’s health.
Wood founded the hospital’s women’s health program in 1987 and developed community interest in it long before these types of programs were main stream. She also is a founding member of the Spirit of Women Health Network. She researched, chose and instituted the program that best helped Franciscan St. Francis meet the health care needs of women and put more of a focus on women’s health.
Franciscan St. Francis is a Spirit of Women hospital which offers a mix of programs, classes, services, health fairs and social events that focus on women and their health, empowering them to make healthy lifestyle changes.
In 1992, she was instrumental in helping to organize the first Race for the Cure in Indianapolis and served as co-chair of this event in 2005 and helped form the Breast Health Awareness League in 1995, which later became the Indianapolis affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which she has served as both president and on its board of directors.
Wood also helped to spearhead the legislation which brought breast cancer awareness plates. She is a founding member of the Y-Me of Central Indiana, a breast cancer information and survivor support group. She serves on the board of the Catherine Peachey Fund, on organization which funds breast cancer research programs. She served on the board of the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust through 2007 and as the Indiana Coordinator for the National Breast Cancer Coalition for six years.
Wood partnered with Denise Johnson-Miller, M.D., an oncological surgeon at Franciscan St. Francis, in 2010 to establish the inaugural St. Francis Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. Gov. Mitch Daniels honored Wood with the Distinguished Hoosier Award in 2007 and she was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Komen Pink Tie Ball in 2011.