Lee Sanders, MD, MPH
Division Chief

Dr. Lee Sanders is a general pediatrician and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Stanford University, where he is Chief of the Division of General Pediatrics.  He holds a joint appointment in the Center for Health Policy, where he is a co-director of the Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention (CPOP).

An author of numerous peer-reviewed articles addressing child health disparities, Dr. Sanders is a nationally recognized scholar in the fields of health literacy and child chronic-illness care.  Dr. Sanders was named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar for his leadership on the role of maternal health literacy and English-language proficiency in addressing child health disparities.  Aiming to make the US health system more navigable for the one in 4 families with limited health literacy, he has served as an advisor to the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academic Pediatric Association, and the American Cancer Society.  Dr. Sanders leads a multi-disciplinary CPOP research team that provides analytic guidance to national and state policies affecting children with complex chronic illness – with a focus on the special health-system requirements that arise from the unique epidemiology, care-use patterns, and health-care costs for this population.  He leads another CPOP/PCOR-based research team that applies family-centered approaches to new technologies that aim to improve care coordination for children with medical complexity.    Dr. Sanders is also principal investigator on two NIH-funded studies that address health literacy in the pediatric context: one aims to assess the efficacy of a low-literacy, early-childhood intervention designed to prevent early childhood obesity; the other aims to provide the FDA with guidance on improved labeling of pediatric liquid medication.  Research settings for this work include state and regional health departments, primary-care and subspecialty-care clinics, community-health centers, WIC offices, federally subsidized child-care centers, and family advocacy centers.

Dr. Sanders received a BA in History and Science from Harvard University, an MD from Stanford University, and a MPH from the University of California, Berkeley.  Between 2006 and 2011, Dr. Sanders served as Medical Director of Children’s Medical Services South Florida, a Florida state agency that coordinates care for more than 10,000 low-income children with special health care needs.  He was also Medical Director for Reach Out and Read Florida, a pediatric-clinic-based program that provides books and early-literacy promotion to more than 200,000 underserved children.  At the University of Miami, Dr. Sanders directed the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, which fosters a scholarly community committed to addressing global health inequities through community-based participatory research.  At Stanford University, Dr. Sanders served as co-medical director of the Family Advocacy Program, which provides free legal assistance to help address social determinants of child health.

Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Sanders is co-director of the Complex Primary Care Clinic at Stanford Children’s Health, which provides multi-disciplinary team care for children with complex chronic conditions.  Dr. Sanders is also the father of two daughters, aged 11 and 14 years, who make sure he practices talking less and listening more.

Past Division Chiefs