News Center

Monday, January 31, 2011

Komen group commends St. Francis nurse’s breast cancer awareness work

INDIANAPOLIS – Long before the pink ribbon became a rallying symbol and emblem, Michele Kuntz Wood was actively promoting breast awareness anywhere and anytime she could carry that message

Her diligence for that cause is the basis for her being recognized by the Central Indiana affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Wood will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at the breast cancer group’s Pink Tie Ball, Feb. 19, at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in downtown Indianapolis.

Wood – a registered nurse and manager for Women’s Health Services at Franciscan St. Francis Health – has been on the frontlines for breast cancer awareness in numerous ways for more than three decades. She helped organize the first Race for the Cure in 1992 and co-chaired the event in 2005; founded the local Y-Me Breast Cancer Organization; spearheaded the legislation to authorize the breast cancer license plate; and was state coordinator for the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

She also has served as president of the Indianapolis affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and on the board of the Catherine Peachey Fund, which funds research programs.

Over the years, Wood has been recognized in other ways. She’s been credited by former Indiana Govs. Evan Bayh and Frank O’Bannon for her involvement in breast cancer legislation and was named a Distinguished Hoosier in 2007 by Gov. Mitch Daniels for her community involvement.

A certified nurse practitioner in women’s health, a distinction she earned at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Wood also directs the Spirit of Women program at St. Francis.

The St. Francis nurse will share the limelight with Connie Rufenbarger, a nationally known breast cancer patient advocate and director of the Catherine Peachey Fund. Rufenberger also will receive the lifetime achievement award.

To learn more about Susan G, Komen of Central Indiana and the Pink Tie Ball, go to

More information about Women’s Health Services at Franciscan St. Francis Health is at