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School's website, blog, magazine win AAMC awards

The School of Medicine’s electronic and print communications efforts received high praise from colleagues at peer institutions.

- By Susan Ipaktchian

The School of Medicine’s redesigned website, its blog and its magazine earned top honors this year in a competition sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Stanford Medicine Web Transformation Project earned an Award of Excellence in the website category. The project involved implementing a new content-management system and design system for the Web environment, encompassing a new digital front door for Stanford Medicine and 800-plus individual websites. The competition judges cited the methodical and meticulous development of the website, adding that the project “has resulted in a robust and comprehensive website.” The project was spearheaded by Mark Trenchard, director of Web services in the school’s Office of Information Resources & Technology.

Winning an Award of Excellence in the social media category was Scope, the blog produced by the school’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs. The group-authored blog offers audiences a curated source of biomedical news and conversation. It generates a high rate of viewership, now gathering 1 million page views a year. “It is clear why the team is investing in a blog as opposed to alternative media,” the judges wrote. Michelle Brandt, director of digital and broadcast media, oversees the blog.

Stanford Medicine magazine, also produced by the school’s communications office, earned an honorable mention in the external-audience periodical category. The judges called the magazine “stunning” and said it “achieves a superb balance between sharing scientific insights and maintaining lay-friendly language.” The magazine’s editor is Rosanne Spector.

A story that appeared in the spring 2014 issue of the magazine won an honorable mention for basic-science staff writing. The story, “Fresh starts for hearts,” was written by Krista Conger, and describes the difficulties and possibilities of stem cell research and how the work may someday be used to repair damaged hearts. It also describes the impact of heart disease on a family in which three of the five children suffer from dilated cardiomyopathy. Judges said Conger did a “wonderful job building the family narrative and taking the reader along on their horrifying journey.”

The awards were given by the AAMC’s Group on Institutional Advancement, which includes communications, development and alumni relations staff at academic medical centers. The awards were presented April 16 at the group’s annual meeting in Atlanta.

Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at

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