Congratulations to the 2012 Inspiring Change Leadership Award Recipient

Rhonda McClinton-Brown

Executive Director

Office of Community Health-EPS

Rhonda is an exceptional candidate for this award. As soon as she arrived at the Office of Community Health, she started and led the Office through a strategic planning process that aligned the work of the OCH with the mission of the School of Medicine. She has enhanced existing programs and developed new partnerships that support community engaged scholarship.

When Rhonda came on board, after spending some 20 years in the trenches of community health, new wheels started turning at Stanford. Rhonda spent her first months studying, listening, and exploring possibilities. Rather than rush headlong into this new role, Rhonda applied her skills as a process – and relationship-oriented leader, meeting with a broad range of students, faculty, staff and community partners, asking a lot of questions – and listening to the answers! – and getting to know the university terrain.

She engaged others in a uniquely collaborative process to plan the future of the OCH. The results are truly striking: her singular effort to save the student-run Pacific Free Clinic and establish more stable administrative oversight through the OCH; her powerful voice in pushing for meaningful community engagement within the SoM’s multi-million dollar Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant; her powerful ability to engage community partners in the education of Stanford students and trainees – these are all marks of Rhonda’s creative and collaborative leadership.

In her short time, 6 years, Rhonda has changed the climate in the School of Medicine in its approach to our local communities. She has established and/or strengthened clinical, educational, and research partnerships with more than 25 health-related agencies in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. She has initiated seed grants to encourage faculty to work with new community partners on research related to chronic and infectious diseases, developed group consultations for faculty and their partners to receive assistance in designing and implementing studies, and created workshops on cultural humility and community-based research. Over 200 Stanford medical students, undergraduates, faculty and community members attended the Community Health Symposium this month that highlighted research that has been conducted under Rhonda’s direction-research at the local, national and global levels. These activities have caused our two local county health departments and numerous clinics and non-profits to see Stanford in a new and much more positive light.

Trust has been developed because Rhonda and her staff have gone into our local communities, responded to their unmet health needs, and leveraged resources at Stanford to help them enhance the health of the poor and underserved. Few people can ever do this in their lifetimes – Rhonda has done this in the short time she has been at Stanford.

No one could be more deserving of the award for Inspiring Change!