Susan F. Wood

Professor of Health Policy and Management, Director, Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, The George Washington University, The George Washington University
Areas of Expertise:
  • Health Care Delivery
  • Food & Drug Regulation
  • Reproductive Health

Connect with Susan

About Susan

Wood has committed much of her professional career to ensuring that health and science policy is based upon the best available evidence and research data. Her work and scholarship reflects this overarching theme and centers around identifying research gaps that address key health issues, thus providing useful information to policymakers. This has come together as a focus on women’s health research combined with the role of Federal Agencies, such as the FDA, in regulatory and research policies. Wood has contributed significantly to the national women’s health research and policy agenda over the last two decades, through work on issues related to emergency contraception and related reproductive health topics, inclusion of women in clinical research, and scientific integrity. She has collaborated widely with policymakers and advocates to promote women’s health and research.


How Comprehensive Payment Policies for Medicaid Can Help Patients Gain Access to Long-Acting Contraception

  • Veronica X. Vela
  • Elizabeth W. Patton
  • Peter Shin
  • Sara Rosenbaum



"Ensuring the Health Care Needs of Women: a Checklist for Health Exchanges," (with Paula Johnson, Therese Fitzgerald, Laura Cohen, D. Richard Mauery, Trenton M. White, Alina Salganicof, and Usha Ranji), Kaiser Family Foundation, 2013.

Identifies key coverage, affordability and access issues that are important for women to inform the development of the state health insurance Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Considers essential health benefits, implementation of no-cost preventive services including contraception, provider networks and affordability, outreach and enrollment efforts, and the importance of including gender and other demographic characteristics in data collection and reporting standards.

"Policy Forum: Uncapping Conflict of Interest" (with Jillian Mador). Science 340 (2013): 1172-1173.

Argues that the 2012 scaling back of limits on FDA advisory panel financial conflicts had no clear basis and may have unanticipated impacts.  

"Scope of Family Planning Services Available in Federally Qualified Health Centers" (with Tishra Beeson, Brian Bruen, Debora Goldberg, Holly Mead, Peter Shin, and Sara Rosenbaum). Contraception 89, no. 2 (2014): 85-90.

Reports on the scope of services provided at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) including on-site provision, prescription only and referral options for the range of contraceptive methods.

"Women’s Health, Pregnancy and the Food and Drug Administration" (with Rebekah Gee and Kathryn Schubert). Obstetrics and Gynecology 123, no. 1 (2014): 161-165.

Covers some of the pertinent history of the FDA regulation of medications and devices important to women’s health care. Discusses some of the challenges in progress, and advances some proposals for improved safety and efficacy of drugs in pregnant women. 

"Inappropriate Obstructions to Access: The FDA’s Handling of Plan B" JAMA Virtual Mentor 16, no. 4 (2014): 295-301.

Argues that the scientific and medical communities must defend the evidence of the health benefits to women and to families with access to family planning tools, including emergency contraception. Highlights the need to ensure that safe, effective, and beneficial drugs are made as available as possible. 

"Adolescent Family Planning Services Delivered in Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)" (with Holly Mead, Tishra Beeson, Debora Goldberg, Peter Shin, and Sara Rosenbaum). Journal of Adolescent Health 57, no. 1 (2015): 87-93.

Examines the role of community health centers in providing comprehensive family planning services to adolescents, looking at the range of services offered and factors associated with provision of these services.

"Evaluation of Social Media Utilization by Latino Adolescents: Implications for Mobile Health Interventions" (with Megan Landry, Amita Vyas, Monique Turner, and Sara Glick). Journal of Medical Internet Research mHealth and uHealth 3, no. 3 (2015).

Analyses utilization and behaviors of Latino adolescents as changes in social media trends occur, including sending/receiving short message service (SMS) and social networking. Examines the social media utilization among Latino youth, and differences by sex and acculturation. 

In the News

Interview on Title X fundingSusan F. Wood, NPR Illinois, February 6, 2018.
Susan F. Wood quoted in Kenza Moller, "Does Birth Control Kill a Fetus? Um, No, Nope, Absolutely Not" Romper, October 6, 2017.
Susan F. Wood's research on Women's Health Experts Say Trump Birth Control Rule Overlooks Known Benefits while Raising Doubts on Effectiveness discussed in Ricardo Alonso-ZaldivarSusan F. Wood, "Women's Health Experts Say Trump Birth Control Rule Overlooks Known Benefits while Raising Doubts on Effectiveness," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 13, 2017.
Susan F. Wood quoted on repealing the Affordable Care Act, defunding Planned Parenthood in Molly Redden, "Reproductive Rights Groups Condemn Trump's Nominee for Health Secretary" The Guardian, December 2, 2016.
"Transparency, Strength at the FDA," Susan F. Wood (with David Michaels), Boston Globe, August 1, 2007.
"With the Plan B Decision, the Obama Administration Broke Its Promise," Susan F. Wood, The Washington Post, December 9, 2011.
"Obama Lets Politics Trump Science in Plan B Fight," Susan F. Wood, The Daily Beast, April 6, 2012.
"The 21st Century Cures Act Could be a Harmful Step Backward," Susan F. Wood (with Diana Zuckerman), The Washington Post, November 19, 2015.