Celebrating 30 Years of Service

Karen Denny

Department: 
Orthopaedics

Karen Denny began her career at Stanford in 1977 in the hospital Admitting Office. She also worked as a surgery scheduler and as an administrative assistant.

She left Stanford briefly, then returned to the university in 1985 as the Residency Coordinator in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. For more than 30 years, Karen has had a major impact on everyone who has trained in Orthopaedic Medicine at Stanford. 

Karen is the first contact for medical students when they apply for their residency program, and continues to be the primary contact for residents throughout their training until their graduation. She is more than just a coordinator, but also a confidant, friend, and even a workplace mother, making sure they don't starve during long hours on call. She continues to stay in touch with former trainees as they move on in their professional careers, evidenced by the many holiday cards that adorn her office.

In 2006, Karen also took over managing the administrative staff in the department. The staff look to her as a hard-working, knowledgeable role model. Even after 30 years of dedicated service, Karen continues to strive to improve in her job. This is especially the case in her role as a supervisor, as she looks for ways to better support her staff and encourage their professional development at Stanford. 

Karen is known for her high energy, her fast talking, and her ability to get things done. She is a key member of the department and it has truly been my pleasure to work with her.

Stephanie R. Edelman

Department: 
Surgery

Stephanie Edelman began her Stanford career in the Department of Radiation Oncology, where she was hired by Malcolm A. Bagshaw, MD.  A recent college graduate at the time, she served first as an administrative assistant, supporting the academic work of the faculty.  Her talents were quickly evident, and after she was awarded an MBA degree from the Graduate School of Business at San Jose State University, she was promoted to Accountant and then to Business Manager in the Department.  Her skills in financial management, especially her knowledge in dealing with the complex interactions of hospital and school finances in a hospital-based department, led to her appointment by Rich Hoppe, MD, Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, as Director of Finance and Administration (DFA) in 1994.  Stephanie continued in that role until 2011.  In addition, from 1997 to 2008, she also served as DFA for the Department of Urology, directed by Linda Shortliffe, MD.

While DFA in Radiation Oncology, in addition to her routine duties of budget oversight, research administration, compliance, and faculty affairs, Stephanie supported programs of significant expansion in the department, including a doubling of its faculty size, increase in sponsored projects, and establishment of a substantial Department quasi-endowment.  Among Stephanie’s special projects during her tenure in Radiation Oncology were support for development of a radiation oncology outreach facility in Turlock; the development of a faculty compensation plan that recognized clinical effort, academic achievement, teaching, and institutional service; oversight of a successful move of the entire clinical department from Boswell to its new location in the Clinical Cancer Center; and co-planning the celebration of 100 Years of Radiology and Radiation Oncology at Stanford.

Stephanie worked extremely well with physicians, physicists, biologists, and employees at all levels within the department.  She was an unflappable and innovative problem solver.  She inspired change and fostered strong collaborations at all levels of the organization.

Stephanie brought her enthusiasm and tremendous experience to the Department of Surgery in 2008, the third largest department in the School of Medicine.  For the past eight years, she has been integral to the financial and academic success of the Department.  Her strong relationships throughout the University make her the go to advisor and problem solver for faculty and other administrators.  Her immense experience, incredible work ethic and can do attitude result in her being tasked with many special projects for the School.  Fortunately, Stephanie came to Stanford very early in her career, so we will continue to benefit from her excellent work.

Maria L. Fabian

Department: 
Neurobiology

Maria has been a critical force behind the success of the Barres lab for the past 23 years (before that working for the Shooter lab for 7 years).   It is impossible to imagine our lab functioning without her.  She is always here to make sure the lab is running smoothly, overseeing ordering, chemical inventory, and equipment maintenance and repair.  She is always there to help all the students and postdocs with their experiments and to help if any unexpected problems arise.  She is an expert on how to purify and culture neurons and glial cells and has trained everyone who has passed through the lab on how to do these procedures.   She has also very generously trained many visiting guests from all over the world on how to purify neurons and glia.   Whenever any unexpected disaster has happened, she has always been there day or night, to quickly solve the problem.  She never fails to be a professional, and is always kind, generous, and dependable.  Thank you, Maria!  We are very lucky you have been with us for so long.  

Written by lab members:

Maria is like our lab's Dora the Explorer! A pixie sized ball of energy, always ready to help with anything you need! She is Ben's second in command and makes sure everything is running smoothly in our lab. 

Maria: an integral lab member who keeps things running smoothly for everyone!!!

Teresa E. Hinkle

Department: 
Radiation Oncology

Teresa Hinkle began her Stanford career at the Internal Medicine Clinic where she worked with residents and interns.  This was a great introduction to Stanford, but she did not stay long. In 1987, she moved to Pediatrics Endocrinology, where she processed grants and managed fellowship appointments.  Teresa met various visiting professors from around the world from Italy to Turkey to Germany.  She enjoyed hearing about their life experiences.  They taught her that no matter where we are from that we are all the same.  It was easy for Teresa to be successful at her job and to grow professionally with the support, kindness, respect and understanding from her supervisors, who were Dr. Laura Bachrach and the late Dr. Raymond Hintz.

The highlight of Teresa’s time in Pediatrics was bringing her 3-year-old daughter, Danielle, to work.  Danielle would have tea parties with Dr. Harvey Cohen, who was the Chair, and ask to ride the Marguerita.  It was because of the Stanford environment that Danielle told Teresa she wanted to go to college.  Today, Danielle is a graduate of SF State, where she was a presidential scholar and in her junior year, attended the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  Danielle currently works at a tech company in South SF, and is pursuing a career as a UX designer. Looking back, Teresa’s days at Pediatrics are ones that she cherishes.

In 2000, Teresa decided to do something totally different.  She took a position in The Research Management Group (RMG), and was there for 11 years as a Research Process Manager Associate.  She wore many hats. The atmosphere was very intense with one deadline after another, but the experience and personal growth were very rewarding.  Teresa has said if you can work there, then you can work anywhere!  Although she was very busy, Teresa and her team still managed to have fun. They created skits (“Ease on down the road,” “Workplace Family Feud” and “Here comes the Judge”) to teach staff new tools and how to grasp change (i.e. moving to Porter Drive).  By the way, Teresa starred in all of the skits! 

During Teresa’s time at RMG, she still found time to obtain her B.S. in Human Services. As a result of her education, she volunteers her weekends to help at the Alcohol and Drug Rehab. Center in Stockton.

In July 2013, Teresa took a brief hiatus from Stanford.  She returned in March 2014 to the Department of Radiation Oncology where she provides administrative support to Dr. Mark Buyyounouski and coordinates postdoctoral scholar affairs for the Division of Radiation Therapy. Teresa says every day there is something new to learn, and different people to meet. She has taken this opportunity to reinvent herself, and is happy to say, “It feels similar to her time in Pediatrics,” but better! It is amazing to her after all of these years to find this type of satisfaction and happiness.  Her supervisor Belinda Mah and boss Dr. Mark Buyyounouski mirror the type of support and understanding she had in Pediatrics.  Teresa says great supervisors and bosses are the reasons she has stayed at Stanford for 31 years!

When Teresa isn’t working, she enjoys gardening and putting her hand into amateur photography.

M. Brooke Hollak

Department: 
Medicine

Brooke Hollak began her Stanford career in 1986 after working at other institutions as a nurse on a major surgical floor, ICU and post-open heart recovery, and then managing a cardiac catheterization laboratory for 5 years. At Stanford, Brooke first served as an outcome assessment/quality control coordinator for outcome studies involving rheumatic diseases with ARAMIS (Arthritis, Rheumatic Disease and Aging Medical Information Systems) and SAC (Stanford Arthritis Center). In 1989, she joined the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine as the coordinator of the Angiographic Analysis Laboratory for the NIH sponsored BARI (Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation) trial – one of the landmark prospective randomized multicenter clinical trials in interventional cardiology that evaluated outcomes comparing coronary bypass surgery versus coronary angioplasty in patients with multivessel coronary disease. As the coordinator, Brooke participated in the software development of computer programs which collected angiographic data via a graphics collection mechanism of coronary anatomy and lesion placement and morphology, served as liaison between clinical investigators and site coordinators regarding the angiography protocol, established a quality control database, interfaced with the data coordinating center, managed inter-laboratory quality control studies, and established protocols for review and feedback to the clinicians following core laboratory analysis. Her 10-year expertise developed in this project has been further expanded since transitioning to the Stanford Cardiovascular Core Analysis Laboratory (CCAL), directed by Peter J. Fitzgerald, MD, PhD and Yasuhiro Honda, MD, specializing in domestic and international research studies and clinical trials with advanced cardiovascular imaging techniques such as Quantitative Coronary Angiography, Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS), Optical Coherence Tomography, Intravascular Spectroscopy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and CT Angiography.

“I had the rich opportunity to first meet Brooke in the '90s, as when the Angio Lab participated in some of our early IVUS/Angio trials.” said Prof. Fitzgerald. “It was easy to meet Brooke, as she always had a welcoming smile to all -- from the janitor to the heart surgeons, including a young engineer working in the closet next to her...all of us were caught in her spell...and maybe, over time, we adopted a bit of her magic. She moved up to our CCAL offices in 1999 as our Study Coordinator.  She was more efficient at work than anyone I have ever known...she could do, in an hour, what most could do in eight. When we began to work on combined projects with Ultrasound, I learned about focus by proxy...very little could "rattle" Brooke, even some of the administrative log jams...but remember this was the "Harrison era," when the likes of Bristol, Simpson, Yock, Winkle, Baim, Oesterle, and many more were fellows....it was an explosive and chaotic time in Cardiology, and Brooke was the glue. The many research projects, the hundreds of core lab projects and publications from our lab, would not have been possible without Brooke. We are all very fortunate to learn from her gentle yet focused demeanor and benefit from the friendship as well. I know I am deeply grateful for her contributions to the core lab these past two decades, and more broadly, thankful for her dedication to Stanford Cardiology. She has a heart of gold. Thanks Brooke, you are an inspiration to us all...”

Donna Jones

Department: 
Pathology

It is hard to believe that Donna has been working with me for 30 years, but I checked the records and it's true! Donna remains the best possible colleague and administrative associate anyone could have, and I cannot imagine what work would be like without her.  On the one hand, she is phenomenally competent, organized and efficient: when there is a deadline, she knows it and helps me meet it; when there is an impossible-to-find document, she finds it; when I have drafted a letter, she edits it; when my computer skills fail me (a frequent occurrence), she takes over. On the other hand, she is also kind and considerate, not just to me but to everyone.  Our lab is large (25 people) and comprised almost entirely of graduate students and postdocs, such that we experience almost complete turnover every few years. I also give frequent lectures and teach a course on tumor immunology.  It’s wonderful to be able to work with bright and talented trainees and follow their maturation and career development; on the other hand, they’re young and in need of a lot of mentoring and patience. Dealing with the demands of students, along with grant and manuscript writing and editing, lecture preparation and letter writing, is a challenge for many faculty members, but in a lab filled with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, each of whom needs his/her own fellowship, the burden is sometimes overwhelming. Donna coordinates and supports all of my activities and is responsible for preparing manuscripts, lectures, grants and clinical and nonclinical reports generated by me and members of my research group, and she also assists with budgets. Although there are other employees who might have similar job descriptions, as far as I am concerned, no one performs these tasks better than Donna. She relishes challenges and always completes her work, no matter how long it takes. Despite the workload and pressures of deadlines, she almost never makes mistakes and instead catches and corrects the mistakes (grammatical, spelling and otherwise) of others, especially me. She is blessed by high intelligence and a strong core sense of responsibility and accountability.  She has a calm and quiet demeanor, is extremely patient and virtually never loses her temper or her ability to provide objective feedback. Not surprisingly, everyone who knows Donna likes and admires her, and she is always willing to help others. The Department of Pathology, the Stanford Blood Center, the members of my research laboratory and the greater Stanford community continue to benefit greatly from Donna’s service, but no one is more fortunate or grateful than I am.

John Adam Reuling

Department: 
Information Resources & Technology

John has had an extraordinary 30 years at Stanford, starting after being an undergraduate in Mathematical and Computational Sciences and subsequently working in a variety of capacities on the vanguard of technology in Stanford Medicine.  During his highly successful tenure, he has served in leadership roles both within the Dean’s Office in the School of Medicine as well as several departments as the field of information technology has exploded.

In his various roles, John has adeptly introduced many new technologies to Stanford, often in their formative stages, helping to ensure that the School of Medicine remains on the forefront. In his roles in the early technology organizations of the Information Systems Group (MedISG) and MedNET he oversaw networking and administrative systems and was at the helm to guide the adoption of internet technologies and the World Wide Web, even creating the first website in 1996 that represented the School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital and Clinics and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH). He created the first laser-based network link to the Stanford Health Library, increasing access to medical information within Lane Library. In 1998, he led an early demonstration of telemedicine in which physicians at LPCH made remote diagnoses from case histories and images transferred over the internet from Xian Medical University in China. This effort was acknowledged by U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who called it an “impressive set-up and achievement.” John subsequently spent time in the Department of Medicine, and also the Department of Radiology, where he continued to oversee innovative technology initiatives, as well as expanding his role to other disciplines, including facilities and infrastructure oversight.

In January of 2014, John transitioned to the role of Director of IT Field Support within IRT in the School of Medicine where he is leading a large-scale initiative to implement a new vision for IT support throughout all departments with his usual superb abilities and highly collaborative approach.

In addition to his professional accomplishments at Stanford, John has also been an active community member and has served as a Freshman Academic Advisor and on the Boards of The Stanford Health Library and the LGBT Community Center.  He has also volunteered at the Shadhika Foundation, based in Denver, CO, which works to address gender inequities in India.

In the words of his coworkers:

“I have been privileged to have John as my friend and colleague for the last 20 years.  If you need to know ANYTHING, just ask John. He responds to every question with detailed, factual, funny, well researched and 100% reliable information.  His guidance has helped me plan vacations, manage my kid’s social media accounts, buy new technology, eat at great restaurants and organize perfect parties.  I’m not sure how I ever got by without him!” – Susie Spielman

“John always knows the answers but he never wants to seem like a 'know it all.' So he waits for you to give the answer, even though he already knows it. Also, he would do anything for you, even if it wasn't part his job and he was super busy.  You could always count on him.” - Michelle Christierson

“He is such a caring person, even if he's frantic on the inside.  When we were kicked out of our hotel in Venice (long story) and we were all in tears, he had drinks and cheese waiting at our new location.”  - Kathy Marsh

I know I speak for everyone in IRT, and many others throughout the School of Medicine and Stanford, in appreciating John for all he brings to our community both professionally and personally. Thank you, John, for everything you do!

Judith A. Roberts

Department: 
Ophthalmology

Judy Roberts joined the Ophthalmology Department when it was still a small Department.  During her many years of service, she supported the Faculty with the Basic Science Course at Stanford, and later became the primary administrator for the program that eventually became the Bay Area Ophthalmology Course (BAOC).  Additionally, Judy was the Assistant to the Department's Pathology Service and Administrative Assistant to Dr. Michael Marmor. 

Judy's biggest contribution to the Department over the years has been her effective work running the BAOC.  She supported decades of students utilizing her personal, caring style.  She spent significant time mentoring and administratively advising the students.  Her personal investment in the course and students lead many participants to remember not just Stanford, but affectionately "Mommy-Cat" as well!  Dr. Peter Egbert notes, "we would not have had as many students attend the course without her."

Judy supported Dr. Marmor as his Administrative Assistant for many years.  She was highly efficient and knowledgeable of the Stanford systems, and Dr. Marmor indicates, "I can't imagine my Stanford career without Judy."

In her spare time, Judy enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren and continues to be an avid bowler, still averaging well over a hundred per game in league play!

We are truly pleased to recognize Judy Roberts for working at Stanford for thirty years.

Dawna K. Robinson

Department: 
Cancer Institute

Dawna Robinson, a Senior Financial Analyst with the Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI), has spent her entire 30-year professional career at Stanford. She arrived on The Farm straight out of college and secured a position as an administrative assistant in the Department of Radiation Oncology.

Dawna grew up as one of ten children in a small Arkansas town, and went on to earn a business degree from Mississippi Valley State University. After graduation, she followed several of her siblings who had relocated to the Bay Area, and she was immediately impressed by the diverse “melting pot” of the region, and Stanford in particular. She handled the transition with grace, thriving in the School of Medicine’s collegial and intellectually rigorous atmosphere.

“Stanford has afforded me the opportunity to grow professionally and learn about different cultures,” Dawna said. “I have developed a host of friends and acquaintances at Stanford, and love the day-to-day challenges of an organization of this magnitude.”

She spent her first 20 years working in the medical school, and embraced the opportunities to work with faculty and administrators driving Stanford’s deep and diverse medical research enterprise.

“Dawna was a favorite among the faculty and staff because of her positive vibe and infectious smile,” said Stephanie Edelman, recalling their time shared in the Radiation Oncology Department. Edelman is currently the Director of Finance & Administration for the Department of Emergency Medicine, as well as the Department of Surgery. “Dawna always had the utmost respect for the faculty, carrying out the mission and goals of the Department, School and University, and that is demonstrated in her work ethic.”

Throughout her career, Dawna sought out opportunities to further apply her talents for business and administration, which ultimately led her to the University side, working as a finance manager for the Dean of Research. Over the next nine years, doors opened in other business units – the Controller's Office, the Audit Department and the Legal Department.

“I love numbers,” she said, and finance gave her chances to shine, gain greater understanding of the scope of Stanford’s business systems and to diversify her experience.

Dawna’s current position at SCI requires her to flex her number-crunching skills in grants management and other duties, but it also enables her to display her creative side: implementing sophisticated fiscal and structural scenario planning for groups and departments that are part of the SCI (a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center that supports and coordinates all of Stanford’s research and clinical efforts related to cancer).

Dawna says that returning to the medical school “feels like home, and that I've come full circle.”

In reflecting on her career, “To me, Stanford means excellence, integrity and opportunity. It's a great place to work and I wouldn't trade it for the world.”

Evangelina M. Salazar

Department: 
Anesthesia

Evangelina (Angel) Salazar was a bit reticent to step into the spotlight that’s shining on her as she celebrates her 30th year at Stanford/Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital (LCPH), but her supervisor was happy to direct attention to Angel: “Can you tell I love Angel? I jokingly call her Angel my angel,” said Lyn Murray, Director of Professional Revenue Cycle for LCPH. Angel has worked most of her professional life as the Revenue Manager for the departments of Ob/Gyn of LPCH and the Stanford School of Medicine Department of Anesthesia. “As a mom, she’s very connected to the mission of the maternal-fetal services. She’s really personally engaged and wants to know how charges impact the patients, and wants to make sure the doctors get paid by the insurance companies, since that’s how we keep our departments going,” Lyn said.

Lyn also praised Angel’s positive attitude when confronted with big changes and challenges, such as when the department converted to the new EPIC billing system. Angel herself said that the conversion was one of the largest projects she’s worked on during her career, and she was proud that she and other colleagues worked to make the transition successful.

Angel said she definitely found her calling in finance, and she feels lucky to work in a department where her colleagues are also her friends: “Over the years we’ve enjoyed long walks on campus, and social events. They not only know me but my family, that’s a great feeling,” Angel said. 

Whether it’s Angel who is lucky to work with her colleagues, or they who are lucky to work with her is one point that she and Lyn might argue on. 

Grete Sonderstrup

Department: 
Microbiology and Immunology

Marilyn L. Tinsley

Department: 
Lane Medical Library

Marilyn has been an invaluable member of the Lane Medical Library team for over 30 years.  Long before being appointed Associate Librarian in 1985, Marilyn worked at Lane during graduate school as an interlibrary loan assistant from 1974-1975. Marilyn holds a BA in Anthropology, cum laude from Colorado College (1970) and her MA degree in Librarianship from San Jose State (1975) where she graduated at the top of her class to earn a membership to Beta Phi Mu, the library and information studies honor society.  She was the Librarian at Mills Memorial Hospital in San Mateo from 1975-1985, before rejoining the staff at Lane Medical Library.

Marilyn has made many many contributions to Stanford Medicine over the past three decades. As Research Services Librarian at Lane Medical Library, she has taught over a thousand classes, assisted numerous researchers with literature searches, and edited Lane's Library News. She is the librarian liaison to psychiatry, neurology, nursing, rehabilitation services, ophthalmology, and the bioscience graduate students.  She is also currently a member of the Research and Innovation Council and Lane’s liaison to Stanford University Libraries.  Just this past year, she participated in Gear Up Day and presented a lightning talk on PIVOT, a resource she profiles in her widely-attended grant funding class.

Marilyn has experienced and been a part of many changes at Lane Library. In the 1980s and for most of the 1990s, library users needed to come to the library to pull and photocopy articles.  Early on, Lane also had computers available for literature searching, and Marilyn was a lead trainer for users to learn multiple command line search interfaces to MEDLINE before the web and Pubmed existed.  As an expert searcher, she also conducted searches on a variety of topics across hundreds of other databases not available to the public. Marilyn created hundreds of handouts, manuals for workstations, and training sessions for a variety of databases, including Lane’s first online catalog, LOIS. She has also coordinated orientation sessions for thousands of faculty, students, nurses, physician assistants, and residents over the years.

In the early years of her career, Marilyn spent most of her working days answering challenging reference questions via the telephone and in person while staffing the Reference Desk. She was and continues to be a mentor to many junior librarians, library interns, and library assistants, teaching them how to assist Stanford researchers, students, and clinicians in finding the best resource for their research, study, and clinical practice.  Serving as the senior reviewer for the Reference Collection, Marilyn continues to mentor others and select the best biomedical sources for our now chiefly digital reference library.

Lane’s transformation to become the dynamic digital library it is today has its roots in Marilyn’s early work to build Lane’s first webpage in 1994.  The Lane website has developed over time and is today Lane’s busiest branch.  Gone are the days of wielding large volumes of reference books and Index Medicus (the print precursor to PubMed).  As the tools of the trade are now mostly online, Marilyn continues the work of partnering with researchers, students, and clinicians to further develop her expertise in literature searching, conducting systematic reviews, teaching, and training information literacy skills.

Marilyn’s friends and colleagues in Research & Instruction and the broader library community at Stanford and beyond have benefited enormously from her wonderful sense of humor, unparalleled compassion, and phenomenal institutional memory. Always available for a quick chat or brain-storming session, Marilyn has provided a unique and highly-valued sounding board for library staff (and library patrons!) for many years.

Virginia Tse

Department: 
Anesthesia

In Virginia Tse’s 30 years working in Faculty Affairs in the Anesthesia Department, she’s seen typewriters get replaced by computers, 3 different Chairs (and an interim Chair) at the helm of the department, the faculty grow from less than 50 to several hundred, and the staff go from a small group housed in one building to an entity so large they’re spread all over campus. That institutional knowledge is one thing that her colleagues find invaluable about her. Janine Roberts, the Residency Program Manager for the Anesthesia Department who reports to Virginia, and also calls her a good friend, said, “She’s a great sounding board and, because of her 30 years of service, she is a wonderful fountain of wisdom and insight.” Virginia’s supervisor, Jane Duperault, the Vice Chair for Administration and Business Affairs for the Department of Anesthesia added that, “Virginia has been dedicated throughout her career at Stanford to helping faculty with appointments, promotions and relocations. This has been invaluable to the department.”

As you might expect from someone who has stuck with a department for 30 years, Virginia enjoys her work and the office’s atmosphere. “Anesthesia’s a great department to work for. You’ll hear that from a lot of staff here, especially staff who have left to go to another department and ended up coming back, or who came from another department. They’re very supportive of the staff,” said Virginia, whose title is Faculty Affairs Manager. She also pointed out how family-oriented Dr. Ron Pearl, the current Chair of the Anesthesia Department, is, and how that makes him very understanding of staff who may have family obligations, too.

Also, after moving around a lot as a child of a military father, she says she’s not someone who loves change—“I park in the same spot every day,” she said with a laugh. She’s lived in Pacifica since her family dropped anchor there when she was a teenager. She raised her son there, and loves its small-town feel and, of course, its proximity to the ocean. “I don’t have an ocean view from my property, but I’m just a 10-minute walk to the beach, and I try to get down there to walk along it as often as I can,” she said.   

Samson Wu-Shiang Tu

Department: 
Medicine

Samson Tu joined the academic staff at Stanford University in 1985, and has served in the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research longer than anyone—including its current faculty members. Samson is a Senior Research Scientist who works on the problem of modeling biomedical knowledge so that it can be processed by computer systems. This work requires understanding the complexities of intelligent computer systems, formal languages that are used to represent biomedical concepts, and the biomedical concepts themselves.

When Samson first came to work at Stanford, he studied the problem of how to encode knowledge of treatment protocols and guidelines for use by computers that ultimately would offer patient-specific, situation-specific advice for patients who have chronic medical problems. He designed and developed intelligent computer programs to assist healthcare providers in the management of patients who have cancer, HIV, and a wide range of other conditions. His recognition as an international expert in the modeling of the knowledge contained in clinical practice guidelines led to a stint working for the team building clinical decision support technology for the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, as well as prominent advisory roles on projects in Italy and Israel. He continues to collaborate closely with colleagues at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Healthcare System on the use of computers to aid in the management of patients with complex, chronic diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has spent the past decade completely revising the structure of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)—the set of thousands of terms used by all member states of the United Nations to describe medical conditions for purposes of public health, epidemiology, and, in the United States, physician reimbursement. Samson has been the driver for extending and refining the “content model” with which WHO is modeling medical problems. As a result, Samson’s work soon will touch every healthcare organization in the world.