Todd A. Wood, M.D.
Todd A. Wood, M.D., serves as Division Chief of Cardiology at Lancaster General Hospital. We asked the interventional cardiologist about his division’s current priorities, why he chose his specialty and how he finds a few quiet moments.
What is your background?
I grew up in Chardon, Ohio. It’s an eastern suburb of Cleveland, near Lake Erie and on the edge of Ohio Amish country. I went to medical school at Case Western Reserve University and completed my postgraduate education at Brown University, including a residency in internal medicine and fellowships in general cardiology, interventional cardiology and vascular medicine.
Why did you choose cardiology?
In my first year as an undergrad, I volunteered at a hospital. They put me in a cath lab, and ever since then, that’s what I wanted to do. I like the rapidity at which you can help people get better. You can take a really sick person having a heart attack, and a few minutes later, have them comfortable, stable and feeling a lot better. Along with the immediate gratification, I appreciate the opportunity to build long-term relationships with patients.
Why did you choose LG Health?
After postgraduate year eight, it was finally time for me to get a real job. My wife, who is a clinical pharmacist, and I joined LG Health in 2012. Lancaster is about halfway between our hometowns in Ohio and Rhode Island -- roughly six hours in either direction. LG Health is a great place to practice, with high-quality care, and a strong and stable hospital system. As an interventional cardiologist, I see patients in the cath lab, the Interventional Vascular Unit and The Heart Group office. There’s a lot of variety.
What do you enjoy about serving in a leadership role?
I became Division Chief for Cardiology about two years ago. I enjoy the ability to move the needle beyond patients I can directly touch. That part of it is satisfying. I’m also willing to wade through some of the more mundane bureaucratic tasks.
What are some of your current priorities in Cardiology?
In April, we will roll out high-sensitivity troponin testing, which will improve our ability to rapidly assess chest pain patients. I encourage providers to look for more information and complete the CBL in KnowledgeLink to learn more about this change. We have also focused recent efforts on improving documentation related to observed vs. expected mortality. We are seeing some early but very promising trends in our Cardiology numbers.
What are some of the division’s projects for the near future?
We are working with vascular surgery on a new Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) procedure that reduces risk of stroke. Dr. Meghan Dermody and I are writing an article about this for the Journal of LGH. Dr. Neil Clark is leading our efforts to develop a surveillance imaging program that will enable us to track and monitor thoracic aneurysm and valve patients from afar. Our colleagues in primary care will be able to refer these patients to us for monitoring.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I spend most of my free time with my wife and our two sons, Connor, 4, and Garrett, 1. I make sure I don’t say yes to too many meetings that would pull me away from family life, especially at this stage. It’s a balancing act. The boys keep me grounded in reality and serve as my pressure release. Right now they’re really into trains. We live in Pequea Township, on the Conestoga River. I enjoy kayaking, taking care of our fruit trees and beekeeping. I get into the water to paddle whenever I can. I used to be a big sketch artist, but it’s hard to find a quiet time in a room to just sit and draw with kids coming at me. When I’m on the river, they can’t get to me. Or if I’m in the yard, I can work around them.