From Medicine to Marathons: Training for the Long Run

In the ongoing and sometimes contentious global conversation about when to begin screening for breast cancer, Heather Greenwood, MD provides an insistent voice. Her steady reiteration that annual mammography should begin at 40 supports the stances taken by Dr. Bonnie Joe, UCSF's chief of breast imaging, and by the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. Both Drs. Greenwood and Joe are considered leading experts in their field.

For Dr. Greenwood, the battle against breast cancer doesn’t end when she takes off her white coat at the end of the day. Her connection to the disease is deeply personal. At the end of 2014, Dr. Greenwood’s family established the Robin Beth Greenwood Foundation for Breast Cancer Research at UCSF in honor of her mother who passed away from breast cancer at the age of thirty-five. That tumultuous childhood event propelled Dr. Greenwood into the study of radiology with the goal of sparing other families such tragedy. Over the past two years, Dr. Greenwood has organized fundraising efforts to raise approximately $16,000 for the fund. Her charitable gifts and dedicated efforts have not gone unnoticed by the institution; Dr. Greenwood was invited to join the UC San Francisco Society as a Dean’s Associate Donor. 

Dr. Greenwood’s persistence has served her well personally as well as professionally. She’s an avid runner who placed fifth in her age group in the first half of the 2015 San Francisco Marathon. Additionally, she’s earned top 15 finishes amongst women in the 2015 Santa Barbara Half Marathon, 2015 Berkeley Half Marathon, and 2016 Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon. At last year’s full Chicago Marathon, Dr. Greenwood placed in the top one percent of her age group with a time of 3:21.14. Based on her results, Dr. Greenwood qualified for the Boston Marathon, an outstanding accomplishment in the running community. Dr. Greenwood will head to Boston to compete in April 2017, but first she’ll lace up her sneakers once again for the Chicago Marathon in October 2016.  

UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging has cultivated the knowledge, skills, and highly focused talents of an extraordinary team of clinicians, researchers, and teachers. Each doctor is a seasoned expert, thoughtful scientist, and caring professional – as well as a specialist in multiple fields of innovative medical practices. 

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