Message From The Directors

Welcome to the Stanford Palliative Care Center of Excellence

Welcome to the Stanford Palliative Care Center of Excellence website

We are so glad that you are here. We hope that you take time to explore this website and learn more about our team, clinical services, research endeavors, educational opportunities, and community outreach efforts.

There is no doubt that the greatest pleasure in working at Stanford is having the privilege of serving our awe-inspiring patients and families. In fact, it was our experience caring for people and families living with serious illness that inspired us to start this center. It is our hope that together our efforts can transform the care of patients living with a serious illness both here at Stanford and beyond.

Second to our patients, we are also inspired by our talented, passionate, and mission-driven colleagues. Through our Stanford Palliative Care Center of Excellence, we are able to serve as a hub to bring together the best and the brightest in helping create innovative solutions to the challenges our patients and families face.

Finally, we are fortunate to benefit from the incredible resources at Stanford, and we believe that we are uniquely positioned to serve as a catalyst for transforming palliative care. With the support from leadership at Stanford Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine, and Stanford Health Care, we are confident that we will be able to continue to leverage Stanford’s strengths in information technology, population health, biomedical ethics, and implementation science.

Again, thank you for taking time to explore our website. We hope that you find helpful information.

You can provide feedback for us here, request an education session here, or support us here.

Thank you,

Rebecca Sands, MD

Karl Lorenz, MD

Ashley Bragg


Palliative Care Center of Excellence Leadership

Rebecca Sands, MD

Dr. Sands currently serves as the Clinical Section Chief of Palliative Care at Stanford University. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2001 with a BA in Chemistry. She then attended Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine from 2002-2006. She completed a residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, MA and went on to complete her Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) fellowship at the Harvard combined program at Massachusetts General Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute in 2011. She spent 8 years at the University of Pittsburgh where she served as core teaching faculty and the HPM Fellowship Program Director. Her clinical work has focused on the intersection of oncology and palliative care. Her primary interests are in mentorship and the advancement of palliative care within the structure of academic medicine including ambulatory practice. She has a particular focus on resiliency skill development for trainees, staff, and faculty as well a commitment to the innovation of ways to create meaning in our everyday lives as health care professionals.

Karl Lorenz, MD, MSHS

Karl Lorenz, MD, MSHS, is a general internal medicine and palliative care physician and Section Chief of the VA Palo Alto-Stanford Palliative Care Program. Formerly at the VA Greater Los Angeles, Dr. Lorenz directed palliative care research at the VA Center for Innovation to Implementation and served on the faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Lorenz is a member of the VA’s national Hospice and Palliative Care Program (HPC) leadership team, director of the operational palliative care Quality Improvement Resource Center (QuIRC), and adjunct facility staff member at RAND.

Ashley Bragg

Ashley Bragg is the Program Director for the Palliative Care Center of Excellence. She has years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating healthcare programs and quality improvement collaboratives at the local, state, and national level. She began her career at UCSF building innovative, data-driven programs in both adolescent sexual health and palliative care. During her time at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, she led numerous initiatives focused on process improvement, patient care redesign, and clinical effectiveness. Most recently at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC), she oversaw the formation, implementation, and evaluation of multiple efforts aimed at discovering and translating high- value care attributes into practical insights for providers caring for high-need, high-cost, and end of life patients.