Dr. Stephen Woodruff takes over as chief medical officer at NEA Baptist Health System

by George Jared ([email protected]) 1,418 views 

After a 40-year career in outpatient clinical work, Dr. Stephen Woodruff has been appointed as the full-time chief medical officer of NEA Baptist Health System. He will lead the day-to-day operations and strategic development of NEA Baptist’s medical staff as NEA Baptist Hospital’s top physician executive.

“Dr. Woodruff’s dedication and impact will only accelerate as he steps full-time into the CMO role that he has assumed as part of his many roles and responsibilities for many years now. Dr. Woodruff will now have the opportunity to focus on impacting patient care from a systemic perspective as he guides our institution into the next 100 years of healthcare in Northeast Arkansas,” said Sam Lynd, CEO and Administrator at NEA Baptist.

Woodruff wrote a letter to his patients explaining the move.

“Early in life, I dreamed of becoming a physician. Fortunately, my dream became a reality with training at UAMS, service in the US Navy, and nearly 40 years of practice here in Jonesboro. Along the way, I have been blessed with numerous awards, and the chance to contribute to the growth of the Jonesboro medical community. However, my greatest blessing has been the opportunity to serve as your primary care doctor throughout good and occasionally difficult times. Teaching a group of talented Internal Medicine resident Physicians, many of whom are staying on our staff, has been very rewarding as well. Since 1994, I have also functioned as the clinic medical director and more recently, the same role in the hospital,” he said. Words cannot express my gratitude for your trust in me as your physician all these years. I will truly miss each of you, but feel I am leaving you in good hands.”

Woodruff was awarded a Mastership by the American College of Physicians in 2019 – an award given to physicians nominated by their peers as highly-accomplished and providing significant contributions to the field of medicine. Woodruff was one of only 50 worldwide to receive the honor in 2019.

As chief medical officer, Woodruff will provide insight and expertise to ensure the health system remains equipped, safe, and ready to serve the community as the COVID crisis still impacts the region. He will remain a mentor to many physicians within the system and has been instrumental in developing the medical staff available to patients in Northeast Arkansas and the surrounding region.