Dr. Noreen Womack ~ St. Luke's Health System
Before the academic year abruptly ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Noreen Womack, M.D., spent her Fridays at Central and Snake River elementary schools in Nampa, taking temperatures and checking on bumps and bruises of schoolchildren. Part of St. Luke’s Children’s School-Based Health Clinic pilot program, Dr. Womack, a pediatrician, provided kids with care at their schools, removing transportation and other barriers that often mean underserved and low-income children don’t get medical attention. For 20 years, Dr. Womack has cared for Idaho’s children. She is a brilliant, engaging and dynamic physician, known for her kind, genuine and compassionate approach to health care, and spent years with Treasure Valley Pediatrics before leading St. Luke’s outreach directly into schools.
Dr. Womack’s dedication and enthusiasm for healing children has resonated with Kenny Bramwell, M.D., medical director for St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital.
“She is exceptionally committed,” Dr. Bramwell said. “She’ll go onto a bus in Nampa and see kids, which is innovative and new.”
In the Canyon County schools, Dr. Womack’s first patient was a young girl whose uninsured mother was hesitant to take her daughter to a potentially expensive doctor’s appointment. “Had her condition worsened, the girl would have likely been taken to the emergency department, a more expensive option, and possibly exposing the young girl and her family to unneeded stresses,” said Brenden Warwick, the practice program manager who led the project to implement the school-based program.
Throughout her career, Dr. Womack has been active in the Idaho Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, serving as the ‘Early Childhood Champion’ and chapter child-care contact for more than a decade. Originally from Beaumont, Texas, Dr. Womack received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1995.
She completed her pediatric residency at Duke University Medical Center in 1998 and spent two years with Metropolitan Pediatrics in Oregon. She joined St. Luke’s in 2001; she provided care earlier through Saint Alphonsus Medical Center for 13 years. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in general pediatrics and serves on the St. Luke’s Treasure Valley Community Board, providing guidance and oversight regarding St. Luke’s community health efforts and Community Health Improvement Fund grant program.
An English/Spanish bilingual pediatrician, Dr. Womack is committed to staying informed on best practices and current research in her field. Her passion to address the social determinants of health is the basis of her care in local schools. “She does an exceptional job staying current and staying engaged,” Dr. Bramwell said. “The work that she has done with schoolchildren is very interesting. She’s seeing patients in a very novel way.”
Dr. Womack arrived each Friday at the schools with bags of books to give students during their visits. The books, which often have a health-related message, encouraged the students to read, building trust with her young patients.
Dr. Womack’s community involvement and engagement also extend to mentoring children and being a cheerleader for them. Over the past few years, she has volunteered for the Boise School District’s Health Careers/STEM Expo, giving advice and encouragement to high school students interested in the medical field.
Dr. Womack exemplifies an altruistic approach to serving her community while adhering to the highest standards of care and clinical excellence. “She’s been a very vocal and reasonable spokeswoman for the rights and needs of children throughout the region,” Dr. Bramwell said. “She has worked exceptionally well with pediatric subspecialists and generalists, as well as the emergency department.”
“She’s a staunch advocate for doing the right thing. She’s been a great help to our community.”