Sarah Garwood

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine

Sarah Garwood is an outstanding leader in community adolescent medicine. As an Associate Professor in Pediatrics, she provides care for complex adolescent patients. Families seek her out, and her clinical times are always overflowing.

She used her skills to help even more youth after the events in Ferguson, MO. In 2015, with community and school leadership partners, she developed and founded what is now the school-based health center in Jennings, The SPOT@Jennings. This comprehensive team, serving hundreds of patients in Jennings High School, provides health and mental health resources and linkage to social services for young people. Sarah’s efforts have made her a leader for school- based health in the state and beyond. She has the unique ability to take what she sees in the exam room to serve populations of young people in ways that work.

This year Sarah took on an additional clinical project—designing the Transgender Center. This program serves young people anywhere along the gender spectrum and holistically supports them and their families. As part of this effort, Sarah engaged community partners and established regular feedback and advice sessions. Sarah also played a powerful role as an advocate for LGBTQ youth in her own family’s school district, Parkway, to make sure all students felt welcome and included. Her grit and determination despite all challenges inspires many.

Sarah has also organized statewide advocacy days, and she leads a statewide community pediatrics and advocacy collaborative called MOCARE that joins all four pediatric training programs in Missouri. Her efforts exemplify a national model to transform faculty development, resident education, and advocacy on behalf of children. Without Sarah, this effort would not have been possible in Missouri.

Her nominator Dr. Katie Plax states, “Whether standing up to discrimination for a transgender child, speaking out about Medicaid or designing services to increase access in schools, Sarah changes the world into a better place for kids and families. These kinds of leaders are rare and a treasure.”