Celebrating 35 Years of Service

Samuel W. Brain

Department: 
Radiation Oncology

Sam received his PhD in Nuclear Physics from the University of Glasgow (yes, that makes him Dr. Brain). While working in Amsterdam, he heard a talk on superconducting electron accelerators given by a researcher from the Stanford High Energy Research Lab (HEPL). That sparked an interest in bringing his wire-chamber building skills to the nuclear physics research group at HEPL, which led to interviews at MIT and Stanford in April of 1980. Showing his wife photos from Boston, where it was still winter, and from Stanford, where the wildflowers were in bloom, Sam soon had a job as a Senior Research Associate at Stanford's High Energy Physics Laboratory. In addition to his Physics work, Sam became an expert in Unix.  At that time, Stanford University had all of 100 computers...one of which was located in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Sam was hired to look after that one machine, and a computer geek was born. In 1985, he installed the first Ethernet interface, and the department became connected to the internet, which at that time connected universities and the military, but was years before AOL, Amazon.com, Facebook, or Twitter (the World Wide Web wouldn't show up until 1990).

Sam's work in Radiation Oncology began with the integration of computers, statistical analysis programs and medical physics applications. Over time computers became more integral to patient treatment planning and delivery, and Sam has been there throughout, facilitating the networking of both clinical and research computers. Sam has built successful collaborations with the information technology groups at Stanford (both Hospital and University), as well as with the various vendors that supply us with vital cancer treatment equipment.  He was one of several IT personnel who spent a frantic weekend connecting linear accelerators to treatment planning stations and computers when the department moved into the newly built Cancer Center. On Monday morning, with the first patient lined up to begin treatment, Sam was making sure the transition to the new building was a smooth one!

Technology has advanced in Radiation Therapy (the department now has over 175 computers), and Sam has been responsible for the design, operation, and maintenance (or care and feeding, if you will) of the IT infrastructure within the Medical Device Network since the beginning. He has played a vital role in the success of Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford. His contributions to the department are legion, and he is valued and appreciated by Faculty and Staff alike.  He is a hero behind the scenes for every patient we have treated, and for every paper we have published in the past 35 years! Thank you, Sam!

Donna R. Fullington

Department: 
Human Resources Group

Donna R. Fullington came to Stanford in 1980 and spent her first 19 years working in the Benefits Department as a Benefits Specialist and Senior Benefits Specialist.  In 1999, she was lured to the School of Medicine as a Human Resources Specialist in a position that combined her interests in Employee Relations and in Recruitment/Employment.  Over the years, Donna’s focus has become Employee and Labor Relations.  She is now a Senior Employee and Labor Relations Specialist and Team Lead.  In her work life, Donna is committed to being fair, thorough, and compassionate, and in seeking the best possible outcome for all who are involved.

But just reciting Donna’s job history and work philosophy falls far short of telling Donna’s enormous contributions to the School of Medicine.  Donna is the lead presenter at the quarterly Respectful Workplace Briefing, a program required for all new staff.  Every time we conduct the Briefing, participants praise Donna’s ability to engage and inspire them. Donna coordinates the School’s annual employee appreciation barbecues and recognition events – a duty that, among other things, has led her to investigate what local bands might wield their musical magic at the barbecues.  She has researched ways to recognize and reward our long service staff – such as Donna herself! – in a way that makes them feel appreciated and valued.  This very website with these moving tributes is evidence of Donna’s work to make sure that we get the opportunity to know ever more about those who have dedicated their careers to the School of Medicine.

In her spare time (what spare time??), Donna is a volunteer for the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Charter Auxiliary; she enjoys music and the arts, especially opera; she likes to travel, especially to Hawaii; and she is deeply involved in the lives of her friends and family.  Donna’s sense of humor is subtle, but infectious.  Her office is decorated with photos showing her in the company of important friends – Dean Lloyd Minor and President John Hennessy – along with a framed certificate praising her “100 years” of Stanford service.  While Donna hasn’t quite reached 100 years yet, we are delighted to know that her aspiration is to make Stanford School of Medicine her employer of choice for the next 65 years!

Thank you, Donna, for all you do to make the Human Resources Group, the School of Medicine, the university, and the world around you a better and more enjoyable place to work and be. 

Maryse H. Gascard

Department: 
Lane Medical Library

Maryse Gascard is perhaps the best known of Resource Management’s staff due to her regular communications with Lane Medical Library’s users in procuring copies of materials not held at Lane.   Due to this complementary role to acquiring Lane’s collection, Document Delivery Services were merged with Resource Management about two years ago.  Maryse and her staff have proven quite adaptable in making this transition and integrating into a new environment.  In reviewing her 35+ year career at Lane, change indeed is the unifying theme.

Maryse started working at Lane on July 2, 1980, as a Library Specialist in the Circulation Department.  She worked evenings and weekends, enabling her to attend San Jose State’s School of Library Science part time during the day.  She attained her MLS degree in 1984.

Then, she took on Lane’s Interlibrary Loan Service.  Borrowing materials from other libraries across the country and verifying references to obtain photocopies evolved over the years.  What used to take 7-10 days is often now delivered digitally to the desktop within hours.  This was before everything started coming online.   Maryse notes that this rapid form of digital delivery was not possible until June 2005, when ILL Borrowing went live with the ILLiad system.  This computer-based staff interface allowed Lane to replace its manual, paper-based process to improve services and turn-around time for users.  Now Document Delivery Services comprises Docxpress: ILL Borrowing and Scan on Demand, and ILL Lending.  Lane’s patrons can access Docxpress 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Earlier, Maryse co-authored “A Micro-computer based net-lending interlibrary loan software” Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 1989 Oct; 77(4):343-7.  This in-house created system was one of many of Lane’s early delvings into automating of library processes.

She reminisced that her first computer, shared with a reference librarian, had no screen—everything you typed printed out on paper.   Locating specific items in a predominantly print collection presented challenges that are rapidly fading into the past.  One novel approach to leading users to particular parts of the collection was a series of colored painted balls hung from the ceiling to lead users to the section of the library that particular collections were shelved.  The same colors were dotted on volumes to match the balls!  Since about 90% of the physical collection is now in storage, finding elusive materials has become more of a digital hide and seek.

Over the years, Lane transformed itself many times.  Remodeling, reorganizing, moving furniture, etc. has taken place often enough that Maryse sometimes thought her desk should be on rollers.  Recent refurbishment of Lane may help, as it has done much to erase past memories of jackhammers drilling holes through the floor, other construction noises, frequent water leaks, asbestos removal, the 1989 earthquake, but mostly notably of all the flood of the lower level three years ago due to a pipeline break.

Maryse has initiated and implemented many substantial improvements to Lane’s Interlibrary Loan services over her 35 plus years at Stanford.  It has been an amazing journey, and her colleagues fondly remember sharing many parts of it with her.

Adriana Krauss

Department: 
Medicine

After working at the Stanford Hospital EKG lab for about ten years, Adriana began a career as a research assistant at the University with the Coronary Artery Surgery Study (CASS) in 1977.  This was followed by invaluable work on numerous research studies at the Stanford Heart Disease Prevention Program, now known as the Stanford Prevention Research Center.  She worked as Visit Coordinator and Data Technician on the Stanford Coronary Risk Reduction Project (SCRIP) from 1983 to 1991.  She served as Data and Visit Coordinator for the Diet and Exercise for Elevated Risk (DEER) study from 1991 to 1996.  In 1995, she began work on the Health Initiative (WHI) as Subject Coordinator and continued as Retention/Follow-up Specialist for the past 10 years.  In 2008, she joined the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) as Endpoint Specialist.  She continues her invaluable work on both WHI and MrOS studies today. 

Adriana’s contribution to each study has been invaluable.  Her wonderful sense of humor, writing and editing skills and caring way with the study participants have proved vital for gathering study information from participants.  She has been instrumental in the long term retention of the participants in these studies.  Adriana is very dedicated to her work and meticulous about it.  She is a delightful person to work with. She always keeps our work environment cheerful and pleasant.  We are very fortunate to have had Adriana working on Stanford Prevention Research Center studies for so many years.

David M. Kunis

Department: 
Neurosurgery

David Kunis first became hooked on Neuroscience as an undergrad while working in the lab of Clinton Woolsey, a pioneer in motor cortex mapping.  He began his career at Stanford in the Department of Neurology, and then moved to Neurosurgery in 1987 and has served as my Lab Manager since that time.  Then the lab was a 3-person operation on a shoestring budget; today David considers it an honor to have participated in its growth into a productive and successful lab.

David manages the day-to-day operations of the lab and is an invaluable resource and the go-to guy for everyone in the department whether they be faculty, visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows or medical and undergraduate students. David is extremely intelligent, outgoing, thoughtful, kind and caring. He is the most resourceful person I have encountered over the last 29 years since I started as faculty at Stanford. No matter what the issue or challenge, David figures out a way to accomplish the task. He gets along well with everyone and is a real pleasure to work with. Over the course of his career, David has contributed to over 78 publications, including one in Science which he is particularly proud of.

David also has many interests outside of his job in the lab. He is a Martial Arts teacher with a 5th dan in Aikido.  He is also a dog trainer and is involved with several animal rescue groups throughout the Bay Area.  He received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his work in rehabilitating shelter dogs.

On behalf of the entire Neurosurgery Department, we thank David for his dedicated service to the Department and congratulate him on 35 years at Stanford.

Susan Leamons

Department: 
Pediatrics

As the Physician Coding and Quality Manager for the Department of Pediatrics, Sue is seen as a strong ally and partner to the department’s clinical faculty. She has a unique blend of technical mastery of the world of professional coding and the ability to communicate that knowledge. Sue has worked in multiple departments in the School of Medicine, and has even been on the other side of the road with LPCH, and these different perspectives have given her many layers of experience and allow her to contribute so much to the Department.

Sue adds to the department not only through being an expert coder, but through her warm personality. She is always smiling and always friendly, even when she needs to delicately explain to faculty why they need to provide more documentation in order to justify billing at a level 4. Sue is always willing to help in any way she can, and goes out of her way to discover new problems and to find solutions to existing ones.

Sue’s finely-honed skills of coding compliance also serve her well in her most recently adopted role: the resident referee for the Department of Pediatrics pickup basketball games in the Menlo Park office parking lot. She maintains order and keeps players honest with frantic, though seemingly arbitrary, whistle-blowing. Ultimately though, Sue is a tough, fair, and unbiased officiator.

I have personally been working with Sue for 12 years, and I’m still learning from her. Not only does Sue add tremendous value to the department with her unique expertise, but she has always been an absolute pleasure to work with.

Douglas R. Monica

Department: 
Educational Programs and Services

Philip L. Ritter

Department: 
Medicine

Dr. Ritter has spent a lifetime at Stanford. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science at the very beginning of the field. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia and returned to Stanford for a PhD in anthropology. He then went to work with the legendary Sandy Dornbusch in family studies. As these were winding down, Phil made one last move to the Patient Education Research Center in the Department of Medicine, where he has served as a researcher and data analyst for more than 25 years. His productivity can be seen in his more than 70 publications.

Phil’s contributions to the Patient Education Research Center are numerous. He has done virtually all of the data analysis for the Center since he arrived. In addition, he has authored or co-authored many of the Center’s publications. As important, or more important, he has become an excellent editor for all of our work.

One thing that has set Phil apart is his willingness to be pressed into service as needed. For many years, he has managed a very large email discussion group of more than 1500 people from 30 countries, and at times has helped stuff questionnaires into envelopes, and act as the Center’s photographer. He has done all of this with good humor and calmness.

When Phil is not crunching numbers, he is very involved with his family, with photography and with family genealogy.

Research is ever more a team effort. Phil is a key player on our team. His skill, knowledge, good humor and good will are often the glue that holds us together.

Corrine L. Sanchez

Department: 
Surgery

Corrine Sanchez currently serves as our Faculty Affairs/Post Doc Affairs Administrator in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.  In 1980, Corrine accepted her first job working for Patient Admitting Services at Stanford Hospital. In this role, she worked registering all outpatients going into clinic.

In 1982, Corrine was hired as an Administrative Assistant in the Department of Surgery, Stanford School of Medicine. While working for the Department of Surgery she supported the business office and business manager. She sincerely enjoyed working in the small office environment, and found everyone was very supportive. During this time, she learned a great deal about Stanford financials and worked on special projects.  Corrine worked in Surgery for about 8 years before transferring to the Department of Orthopedics as an Executive Assistant to the Chairman, Lars Vistnes. She worked under the chair for two years before being offered a position in Pathology.

In 1992, Corrine transferred to a new role in the Department of Pathology, as the Residency Program Manager and Executive Assistant to the chairman Klaus Bensch.  In this role, Corrine truly appreciated working with the residents, and learning all the new programs.

Since 2003, Corrine has worked for the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Corrine supports our department by processing all Faculty/CE, Post Doc, grad students, and fellows’ appointments.

Corrine has enjoyed working the last 35 years for Stanford. She has watched Stanford change dramatically over the years. She says Stanford is a great place to work, and feels they give a lot of support to their employees. Corrine enjoys all the benefits and perks the university has to offer. She certainly enjoys using the free Go Pass for the train, the Be Well program for fitness classes, and the STAP funds to use for continuing education classes.

Congratulations, Corrine, on your 35 years of service and your many contributions to Stanford!

Valerie E. I. Scott

Department: 
Medicine

Val Scott, RN, MSN, was born in Scotland and received a Diploma of Nursing and an ICU certification from Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, Scotland. She moved to the United States and fell in love with California. After years of clinical nursing, including 10 years in critical care, she moved to clinical research in 1990. She has worked at Stanford coordinating pulmonary hypertension clinical trials since early 1998.

She has been a key member of the research team from the time there were little viable treatment options for this incurable and fatal disease.  With her hard work and dedication, we have been able to participate in both industry-sponsored and faculty-initiated studies to add novel agents to the pulmonary hypertension treatment armamentarium.  Her vast knowledge in research process and patient care have been invaluable to the success of our research program.

But more than all of her accomplishments, Val brings levity and joy to our work. She is a fun-loving and compassionate individual. We can always count on her to organize a superb social gathering, cook a fabulous meal, and, of course, do it with style.