Susan Wood

Susan WoodSusan O. Wood applies a strengths-based approach to employee retention, strategic planning and leadership development. Susan works in health care, education and with growing businesses. Clients include Milton Hershey School, Lancaster County Historical Society, and health care organizations – Northeastern University School of Nursing, University of Kentucky Hospital, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Lovelace Health Systems. A key partner is Dr Donna Havens, nurse researcher at The University of North Carolina School of Nursing, who leads “Spiraling Upward for Nurse Retention and Quality Care”, a project involving five hospitals in rural PA in a positive change initiative from 2008 – 2011.

Susan worked for seventeen years with CIGNA, an international financial services company, where her focus was people development and planning. From 1995-2000 she was worked on information technology projects with Andersen Consulting, as a change manager.

She has an MS degree in Human Resource Development from American University/NTL Institute for Behavioral Sciences, and a BS in Education from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Mount Gretna, PA, where she is active in community affairs.

Susan can be reached at:


Havens, D.S., Wood, S., & Leeman, J. (2006). “Improving nursing practice and patient care: Building capacity with Appreciative Inquiry.” The Journal of Nursing Administration. 36(10), 463-470.

Wood, S. AI Practitioner article, February 2004 “Creating a Positive Future for Nursing”,

Stavros, Jacqueline M, Cooperrider, David L, and Whitney, Diana, Appreciative Inquiry Handbook: Second Edition, published December 10, 2007, Crown Custom Publishing (Berrett Koehler). Chapters 2, 3 and 9.

SWITCH: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip Health and Dan Heath, Lovelace Health System case, pages 155-156.


University of Pennsylvania, Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology graduate program. Presented case studies applying Appreciative Inquiry in health care. February 7, 2010.