North Carolina AHEC Program
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Woodworth to Retire from SEAHEC after 26 Years of Service

Paul Woodworth, PhDPaul Woodworth, PhD, Vice President/COO of the South East Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC) has announced his retirement after 26 years of service. Woodworth came on board with the then Wilmington AHEC on September 4, 1984 and was immediately exposed to the interesting aspects of Wilmington weather when Hurricane Diana came ashore on September 13. He served as associate director for three SEAHEC directors: Neil McDonald, William McMillan, and Mark Darrow. Woodworth was appointed interim director in 1991 and 2005 during both transition periods.

One of Woodworth's responsibilities was overseeing New Hanover Regional Medical Center's compliance with the ACGME's Institutional Requirements. Since 1990 NHRMC received four five-year accreditations from the ACGME. He added to his ACGME duties in 1996 by assisting in the formation of the Family Medicine Residency Program. Woodworth also reports that he survived writing 24 annual reports to the NC AHEC Program Office, 100 Health Sciences Foundation Board Meetings, and seven NHRMC CEOs.

Many long-time AHEC employees will remember his impish side, reflected when he dressed as an elf or Santa for several Christmas parties and when he orchestrated the infamous party boat grounding during the 1996 AHEC Statewide Meeting held in Wilmington.

Woodworth says he is thankful for the opportunity to be involved in hiring so many talented faculty and staff who have made SEAHEC such a success. He also has observed and learned from many role models in the AHEC system including Gene Mayer, John Payne, and Tom Bacon; the three local AHEC directors Neil McDonald, Bill McMillan, and Mark Darrow; all the current regional AHEC directors as well as Harold Godwin, Harry Gallis, Don Smith, Jim Leist, and Bill Williams.

Woodworth oversaw four major building projects over his tenure culminating with the new SEAHEC building that opened this year. He was surprised and humbled when the conference room at the new building was named in his honor.

Woodworth’s last day will be December 24, 2009. Never one to stand still, he has already made retirement plans to fulfill a life long dream of seeing the USA.