After graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education and Music Therapy degree from Wartburg, Christina Ufer Wood developed programs and delivered music therapy care for patients and families in Minnesota. In 2009, she continued her education at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana, earning a master’s degree in music therapy in 2012.

Wood has been a successful sole proprietor since 2006, and in 2013 took her business to the next level when she founded Healing Rhythms Music Therapy in Rochester, Minn., which employs eight music therapists. Healing Rhythms recently was honored as the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year.

Her love for education extends to the community. She advocates tirelessly for music therapy, often presenting to community organizations and to medical professionals, striving to teach others about the benefits of her profession. Wood also continues to educate herself, pursuing additional training in musical methods. Her leadership efforts have helped start music therapy programs at major medical institutions.

Service comes second nature for Wood. She has offered her skills to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, facilitated community drum circles, and worked with the Miss Minnesota program to bring uplifting musical experiences to children. She also works with those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s and their caregivers., using music to help end the stigma of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Wood has served as vice president of the Music Therapy Association of Minnesota and is a member of the American Music Therapy Association. At her business, she seeks to meet her employees’ needs, supporting their emotional well-being and developing their skills.

“Christina is a humble woman who is strong in her faith,” writes a nominator. “She carries her Christian values as a woman of faith within her and with those who express their faith. While Christina is a Christian, she is also incredibly sensitive to others in regards to their cultural and religious beliefs.” While Woods and her family worship at one church in Rochester, for several years she has played organ and sung at Hosanna Lutheran, expressing her own faith through music and helping those at Hosanna to do the same with her talents.