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Woodward wields national influence as accreditation chief

Dr. LouAnn Woodward

Dr. LouAnn Woodward has taken over as chair of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which sets standards for U.S.- and Canadian-chartered medical education programs run by universities or medical schools.

Woodward, Mississippi Medical Center’s vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine since 2015, has served simultaneously as chair-elect of the LCME for the past year after being confirmed unanimously by its board.

Since 2013, she has worked on the executive committee and as chair of the subcommittee on International Relations for the LCME, which is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association.

As LCME chair, Woodward’s reach will extend beyond the United States: She will represent the organization as a voting member of the Council for Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, which sanctions M.D. programs in Canada, in cooperation with the LCME.

Most state boards of licensure require that medical schools earn LCME accreditation, indicating that they meet national standards for the awarding of a medical degree.

An institution must be accredited by the LCME in order to receive federal grants for medical education and participate in federal loan programs.

In 2012, Woodward helped steer the School of Medicine through its accreditation process. After weighing the school’s performance for around 130 measures, the LCME reported that the education program complied in every area, a rare occurrence for any medical school.

A native of Carroll County, Woodward is also a professor of emergency medicine. She earned her undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University and, in 1991, her M.D. at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson, where she also completed her residency training.

For several years, she was associate vice chancellor for health affairs and vice dean of the medical school.

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