Celebrating 30 Years of Service

Samuel Brain

Radiation Oncology

Start date: 9/10/80

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 150 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 30 years! Thank you, Sam!

Lei Xing (supervisor)

Calvan Brodbeck

Pathology/Blood Center

Start date: 9/27/80

Cal started working at Stanford Hospital and transferred to Stanford Blood Center in the early 1980s, after the blood center separated off from Stanford Hospital transfusion service. Cal came over to the blood center for an interesting professional challenge and stayed for the camaraderie and the knowledge that his daily work has a direct effect on patients and cutting edge research.

He is a very dedicated individual, both professionally and personally. He is most proud of his amazing children, his wonderful wife Sue, and his ability to balance work and home life effectively. He honestly cares for his coworkers and their well-being. He is an encouraging support to his coworkers, both professionally and personally. We are very honored and thankful to have Cal at the blood center.

Diane Geary (supervisor)

Donna Fullington

Human Resources Group

Start date: 10/22/80

Donna Fullington came to the School of Medicine in March 1999 after working in the Benefits Office for nearly 20 years.  We knew we had a great opportunity to have Donna join the Human Resource Group based on our work with her while she was the Supervisor, Retirement Services.  While Donna was in the Benefits Office, she was a valuable resource for us when working on various School of Medicine issues.  She was always willing to provide her expertise, and always did so in a positive, collaborative way.

When Donna came to the School of Medicine, her job was half Employee Relations Specialist and half Employment Specialist.  At that time, recruitment was difficult and Donna set out to support our departments in recruitment, screening, and hiring for several positions.  Eventually, Donna's position became full-time Employee Relations Specialist.  However, even today department managers and employees occasionally still contact Donna for assistance in finding and/or filling positions--true to her nature, Donna does this willingly.  In her Employee Relations position, she is supportive of employees and supervisors in providing guidance regarding employment and workplace issues, looking to "do the right thing."

When colleagues were asked about what it's like to work with Donna, without exception it was because of her great sense of humor and sense of helping others.  Here are a few comments from her co-workers:
Donna's positive yet realistic outlook on life has served her well--both professionally and personally.   What I enjoy is Donna's wicked (fantastic) sense of humor.  Her appreciation of life's little gifts and surprises always comes forth to tickle our senses and make our experiences richer and more fun!

Donna is generous, genuine, not easily upset, and is able to go with the flow. 

Donna is a giving person.  She keeps track of what people enjoy (eating, reading, wearing) and will remember to bring such things in for people.  Her sensitivity to others makes her a pleasure to work with.  She had a wooden black & white cow outside her window at MSOB which I used to look at when my eyes were stressed with so much computer work--I miss seeing that cow!!!

Donna is a very caring person, and fun to work with.  If you need a laugh during a difficult day or a break from a problem you've encountered, Donna will be the one to give perspective and add some humor to almost any situation.  It is a pleasure working with her.

When Donna was asked the question, "What have you enjoyed most about working at Stanford?" she responded that "the highlight of working here is the diversity of people I've been able to meet."  It has been a place where, "I make a difference in people's work life, everyone deserves a positive workplace," and she feels she has been able to make that difference in both roles at the Benefits Office, as well as Employee Relations at the School of Medicine.

During Donna's time away from work, she is a volunteer for the Charter Auxiliary for LPCH where she spends many volunteer hours helping to raise money for patients who are unable to afford services.  Her participation in monthly events supports this effort.

Congratulations Donna!! We are all happy to work with you, and couldn't ask for a better colleague and friend.

Maryse Gascard

Information Resources & Technology/Lane

Start date: 7/2/80

Maryse began her career at Lane Medical Library in the Circulation Department, where she learned the principles of dedication to user service and information sharing that has guided her work for 30 years.   She moved to Document Delivery in 1984, where she has done an outstanding job of coordinating interlibrary loan and resource sharing for 26 years.  Her acute attention to detail and tenacity have been critical to the work she does to locate even the most elusive articles and out of print books. 

Maryse was promoted to Library Specialist IV in 1997, and in 2003, her participation was vital to reinventing Lane Library's document delivery service and renaming it to DocXpress in 2005.  This critical transition from a paper-based system to a highly automated one saves our clinicians, researchers, and students countless hours of time and labor.  Delivering over 12,000 articles to faculty, students, and staff each year, Maryse's team of just 2.5 FTE continually refines the procedures and technology tools that make it possible to deliver digital files directly to the desktop.

Maryse has also developed rich relationships with colleagues at other libraries, nearby and around the world, to ensure one of the most robust networks of interlibrary loan.  This network is a critical part of the infrastructure supporting libraries and their institutions in times of disaster.  For example, Lane Library was poised to provide free article delivery to our colleagues after Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters. And, as a result of Maryse's outreach and networking with colleagues around the world, Stanford users can get articles they need even if the power goes out in Palo Alto.  During her tenure, Maryse has directed the implementation of numerous versions of resource sharing software to keep these networks robust, including Ariel, OCLC ILLiad, and DocLine.  This spring, she represents Stanford at the 2011 International ILLiad Conference of resource sharing managers. Maryse says about her work, "I like the fact that after 30 years, it still challenges me every day."

Sandra Brekke (supervisor)

Adriana Krauss

Medicine/Stanford Prevention Research Center

Start date: 2/4/80

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 a Visit Coordinator and Data Technician on the Stanford Coronary Risk Reduction Project (SCRIP) from 1983 to 1991.  This was followed with a Data and Visit Coordinator position with the Diet and Exercise for Elevated Risk (DEER) study from 1991 to 1996.  In 1995, she began her current work as the Subject Coordinator and Research Assistant for the Women's Health Initiative (WHI).  In addition, from 2008 to the present she has been the Endpoint Specialist with the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) and the MrOS Sleep Study. 

Adriana's contribution to every study has been tremendous.  Her dedication, marvelous sense of humor, writing and editing skills, organizational skills and wonderful and caring way with the study participants have contributed greatly to the retention of study participants as well as making her a delightful person to work with.

Nancy Ellsworth and Joyce Noonan (supervisors)

David Kunis


Start date: 4/1/80

David has been at Stanford for 30 years and has spent the last 24 years in Neurosurgery as my lab manager.  He 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 since I came to Stanford 37 years ago. 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 as co-author of 31 publications and 47 abstracts.

David also has many interests outside of his job in the lab. He has been involved in aikido since 1976.  He currently serves as the Chief Instructor of the Stanford Aikido Club and was promoted to 5th degree black belt in 2008. He is involved in various animal rescue groups throughout the Bay Area and 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 30 years of service.

Gary Steinberg (supervisor)

Douglas Monica

Educational Programs & Services

Start date: 12/1/80

For over 30 years, Doug Monica has provided outstanding support for Stanford students in his several positions at the School of Law and Medical School. He started his career at Stanford as a Supervisor, Campus Mail and Delivery Services, and quickly earned advancement at the Law School, serving a number of years as the Associate Registrar. Moving to the Medical School, he has served for the last 10 years as Registrar, earning the respect and affection of his colleagues and the many students he has assisted over the years. Doug has a special skill in gaining the confidence of students, which allows him to continually give assistance well beyond the call of duty. He has never allowed normal work hours or his job description to restrict the many extra and special services he provides to students. His attitude can be summarized by his motto: "Nothing is impossible."

Char Hamada (supervisor)

Phillip Ritter

Medicine/Immunology & Rheumatology

Start date: 2/12/80

Dr. Philip Ritter has spent most of career at Stanford having received a PhD in anthropology and then doing a post doc with G. William Skinner in social demography and qualitative methods. Since that time he has had three jobs at the University.

He acted as a lecturer and acting assistant professor in the department of anthropology while also serving as a Research Associate/programmer for the Center for the Study of Youth Development (aka Boys Town Center, Family Studies Center).  When the center closed in the early 1990s he came to the Department of Immunology and Rheumatology, where since 1993 he has worked as a programmer and data analyst for the Stanford Patient Education Research Center.  This work has resulted in more than 40 peer reviewed articles where Dr. Ritter was either the first or co-author.

His work at the Patient Education Research Center had been key making self-management education available to people with chronic conditions is more than 30 countries.  The evidence produced by the studies where Dr. Ritter conducted the analysis is often cited in national policy discussions around health reform.

Kate Lorig (supervisor)

Corrine Sanchez

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Start date: 4/21/80

Corrine Sanchez began her career at Stanford University in 1980 in Patient Admitting Services. She then served as the Residency Coordinator for the Department of Surgery from 1983 to 1990. In 1990, Corrine moved to the Department of Functional Restoration. Corrine then moved to the Department of Pathology in 1992 where she served as the Residency Coordinator and supported the Chair of the Department. During her time with the Department of Pathology, Corrine was a critical part of the operations, providing expert and very capable administrative support both to the last Chair of Pathology, Dr. Klaus Bensch, and then to Dr. Stephen Galli when he took on this role in 1999. Corrine's kind and calm demeanor, and her ability to make everyone who came into the office feel welcome and at ease, greatly enhanced the atmosphere of the Department of Pathology.

Corrine was universally liked and respected, and very deservedly so.

She has been an integral part of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery as the Faculty Affairs Coordinator, Residency Coordinator, and Postdoctoral Fellow Administrator since 2003 and can be relied upon to perform her duties with exceptional effort and professionalism. Corrine has helped to facilitate a doubling of the faculty in the Department during her tenure. In addition, Corrine was extremely valuable in the recruitment efforts over the past several years as CT Surgery ramped up its outreach programs at El Camino, St. Agnes, Sutter Sacramento and Salinas. She was a critical member of team that secured the country's first integrated 6 year Cardiothoracic Residency Program in 2008. This program has changed the paradigm for the training of future Cardiothoracic Surgical leaders. Corrine has contributed an enormous amount to three departments in the School of Medicine over the past three decades and the University has been fortunate to have her serve so effectively and graciously during her long career. The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery looks forward to many more years of outstanding partnership with Corrine.

Jason E. Irwin (supervisor)

Valerie Scott

Medicine/Pulmonary & Critical Care

Start date: 5/1/80

Samson Tu

Medicine/Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

Start date: 1/1/80

Samson Tu served as a graduate research assistant at Stanford before transitioning to a full-time staff position in Biomedical Informatics. He worked initially in medical artificial intelligence on the problem of reasoning about clinical therapy.  He developed a computational architecture for reasoning about clinical protocols and practice guidelines that formed the foundation of an intelligent computer system known as ONCOCIN, and extended that work to create a flexible computer system for reasoning about the care of patients who are receiving therapy in accordance with clinical protocols, known as EON.  This seminal work in informatics became the springboard to an influential career that, for the past 30 years, has provided major insights about intelligent decision-support systems and the representation of knowledge in computers.  

Samson has an international reputation for his contributions to computer-based assurance of medical best practices and to the automation of protocol based care.  He contributed to the model of clinical practice guidelines used in the Intermed project that united Stanford, Columbia, and Harvard in the late 1990s.  He expanded this approach to develop the guideline model used in the SAGE project, which brought together workers from IDX, Inc., Apelon, Inc., Mayo Clinic, Intermountain Health Care, Inc., the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Stanford in the early 2000s.  Meanwhile, Samson's EON system formed the basis of a highly-regarded computer-based decision-support system known as ATHENA, which, through Samson's collaboration with colleagues in the Stanford Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, encourages providers at several VA Medical Centers nationwide to follow best practices when caring for patients who have hypertension and several other chronic conditions.

A world-renowned expert in the computational modeling of medical knowledge, Samson has consulted to major projects at the University of Pavia in Italy, Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, and the World Health Organization.  He is an elected Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics.  Samson is recognized throughout the biomedical informatics community for his clear thinking and uncanny ability to create compelling and useful models of clinical phenomena.  Samson generates awe in everyone who works with him.  He has been a role model for generations of students.  Stanford is exceptionally lucky to be able to count Samson among its academic staff.

Mark Musen (Division Chief)

Ruby Wong

Health Research & Policy

Start date: 11/16/80

Ruby Wong started working on the Bone Marrow Program Project Biostatistics Core under Prof. Bill Brown almost 30 years ago. She worked closely with Bill and Jerry Halpern, PhD., to set up and run the database that still undergirds the entire BMT program, serving both research and clinical needs. She became the expert in extracting summaries and cohorts of patients from the complex database. In short, she is the "go to" person for all questions arising about the characteristics and outcomes of the thousands of patients treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplants over the past 25+ years at Stanford, running hundreds of tabulations, Kaplan-Meier curves, Cox Proportional Hazards regressions, and other analyses for the dozens of investigators who have used the Core. More recently she has helped automate the uploading of crucial required information to the oversight bodies who inspect the outcomes of patients. She is still the main source of institutional memory on the definition of terms, location of information, and strengths and weaknesses of this landmark database. She is also the main point of contact between the statistical and bioinformatics team and the curators of data for the database. Dr. Lavori (who took over for Brown) and his co-director, Dr. Laport, rely on Ruby as the final authority for all matters relating to the BMT database contents and meaning.

Philip Lavori (supervisor)