Karen Woods hales from the suburbs of that great Midwestern city, Chicago, Illinois, reared there by parents who are first generation Jamaican immigrants. The path toward her chosen profession originated in the fifth grade when she was afforded the wonderful opportunity of shadowing a registered nurse. The rest is history in the making. In 1996, Karen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) from Marquette University, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Upon graduation, she was privileged to be selected as a new graduate to care for patients at the world renowned Mayo Medical Center (Mayo Clinic) in Rochester, Minnesota, where she spent the first eleven years of her career. Karen brings with her an extensive professional knowledge base in the care of preterm and acutely ill newborns, as the last seven of those years were spent working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Working in that specialized area of critical care nursing, Karen became very interested in the dynamics and physiological responses of a woman and her unborn child. This interest led her to pursue education enabling her to provide care to women and infants prior to their delivery as a certified nurse-midwife (CNM), born from the desire to impact pregnancies and prevent NICU admissions whenever possible. As a result, Karen obtained an advanced nursing degree in midwifery, receiving her Master of Science (MS) from the University of Minnesota in 2006, successfully passing her national midwifery boards the same year. Shortly after presenting her thesis entitled, Antenatal Interventions to Prevent Postpartum Depression, Karen followed her heart (and the beautiful weather) to Atlanta, Georgia.
Karen is passionate about access to care, empowerment, women’s rights, and commending their achievements. Being a part of the Southern Crescent team has been very rewarding; caring for women during their reproductive years both an honor and a pleasure, knowing that these moments in a woman’s and family’s life are looked upon as being intimate, tender, and life changing. Karen definitely enjoys being involved with all the varied journeys of childbirth. She now hales from the great Southern town of Tyrone, living with her husband, daughter and stepson, and beloved dog, Spencer, who has somehow survived all of Karen’s own life journeys!