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West Valley Resident Elected Chairman of Valleywise Health Board


PHOENIX — J. Woodfin “Woody” Thomas, a former Litchfield Park mayor, has been elected chairman of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board, which oversees Valleywise Health, Arizona’s leading public teaching hospital and safety net system of care.

At a meeting Monday, the Board elected Thomas to chair the five-member elected body. Director Mark Dewane was elected vice-chairman.

The only West Valley resident to serve on the Board, Thomas was first elected in 2018 and was sworn in for another four-year term on Monday. He represents District 4, which includes many West Valley communities, including Peoria, Glendale, Goodyear, Avondale, Buckeye, Litchfield Park, El Mirage, Sun City and Sun City West.

“I am honored to serve as Chairman of this exceptional Board as we enter a new era for Valleywise Health,” Thomas said, noting the planned opening of a new Valleywise Health Medical Center in October 2023. The new hospital will replace the vintage facility that opened in 1971.

“I look forward to working with our entire Board, medical staff, hospital leadership and our partners at District Medical Group to guide Valleywise Health through this historic transformation. Thanks to their leadership, we are reshaping Valleywise Health to better serve our community, bring in more advanced services and an even greater focus on providing our patients with an exceptional experience.”

Thomas is a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser. He served as Mayor of Litchfield Park from 2000 to 2006, and as a member of the city’s planning and zoning commission from 2006 to 2012.

Born and raised in Towson, Maryland, Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in dairy science from University of Maryland College Park in 1975. He worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1977 to 2016.

His other accomplishments include service as:

  • President, Colorado Association of County Supervisors (a federally recognized employee association of professional employees)
  • Chair, Management Committee, National Association of County Supervisors
  • President, Arizona Association of Credit Specialist (formerly County Supervisors)
  • Chair, Arizona Appraisers Coalition (representing 6 professional appraisal societies to the state Legislature)
  • Litchfield Park Recreation, Arts, and Parks Commissioner
  • Vice-Chair, Maricopa Association of Governments
  • Chair, Maricopa Combined Federal Campaign

Thomas, who is widowed, has two daughters and one grandson.

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