At State of Stanford Medicine, leaders offer vision for equity, life science research and specialty care

In remarks at the State of Stanford Medicine address, the medical school dean and the CEOs of Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health praised their organizations’ response to the pandemic and outlined plans for the upcoming year.

- By Mandy Erickson

Andra Blomkalns, Paul King, David Entwistle and Lloyd Minor praised health care workers and described new developments at Stanford Medicine during the State of Stanford Medicine address.

Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine; David Entwistle, CEO and president of Stanford Health Care; and Paul King, CEO and president of Stanford Children’s Health, laid out a vision for their organizations that includes cutting-edge research, endeavors to boost diversity and address health inequities, and plans to expand care for cancer patients.  

During the Feb. 14 State of Stanford Medicine event, moderated by Andra Blomkalns, MD, chair of emergency medicine and the Redlich Family Professor, Minor said that Stanford Medicine is poised to profoundly advance the life sciences.

“A confluence of biomedical science, information sciences and technology…offers the great opportunity for dramatically advancing life sciences and in so doing to have an impact on health and well-being,” he said.

As an example, he noted that the medical school has become a leading center in cryo-electron microscopy, a technique that radically improves the ability to study proteins and other microscopic biological structures.

The leaders praised the workers at Stanford Medicine, those caring for patients as well as those behind the scenes securing supplies, running COVID-19 tests and performing all the other tasks that have ensured quality care throughout the two years of the pandemic.

“You’ve been there for each other, and for so many others in our community, and you continue to step up in countless ways to make a difference in the lives of our patients and their families,” King said.

Entwistle noted some milestones that Stanford Medicine workers have achieved in response to the pandemic: 1 million COVID-19 tests completed, 600,000 vaccinations administered and donations of 300,000 tests to underserved communities.

“The work that’s being done across Stanford Medicine to really make sure that we’re touching the lives not only of our own patients and those that we care for, but also in communities that may be underserved, … is just very meaningful to me,” he said.

Minor, Entwistle and King described several new and ongoing developments at Stanford Medicine:

  • • Cancer care is expanding, with 10 operating suites at the Stanford Cancer Center soon to open, as well as a new cancer center under construction in Oakland.
  • • Stanford Children’s Health is extending pediatric and obstetric care throughout the Bay Area and beyond. 
  • • Stanford clinicians continue to use telehealth when appropriate, easing access of care for many patients. About a third of visits are now conducted virtually.
  • • The Catalyst program has received 160 proposals from scientists and others with ideas for improving treatment and care. Catalyst fosters the most promising ideas to ensure they are quickly incorporated into medical practice.
  • • Stanford Medicine continues to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion as a strategic priority: A search is underway to hire a chief diversity officer. The current MD and PhD student population is the most ethnically and racially diverse ever. Existing and new programs are attracting scientists from underrepresented backgrounds to Stanford to conduct biomedical research. And the new Office of Child Health Equity is ramping up efforts to reduce health disparities among children through community engagement and policy.  

“We’re looking forward to … identifying ways in which we can reach out to families to make sure that the care that we provide is equitable, and that as we look at the outcomes that we achieve for all of our patients, that we’re paying particular attention to those communities of need,” King said.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit med.stanford.edu.

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