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Dr. Lee Sanders is a general pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is Chief of the Division of General Pediatrics. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Health Policy, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He teaches in the Human Biology Program and at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (Stanford d.School). Dr. Sanders is a national expert in the science of health literacy, which applies a literacy lens to advancing maternal and child health equity. He directs the Stanford Health Literacy Lab, which aims to address child disparities in health and educational, by redesigning primary-care with youth and families. Dr. Sanders was named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar to lead the foundational science of health literacy as it applies to advancing maternal and child health equity. He has served as an advisor to the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academic Pediatric Association, and the American Cancer Society. Dr. Sanders leads a multi-disciplinary research team that provides analytic guidance to regional, state and national policy makers. A focus of the work is applying health-services, human-centered design and health-behavior science to improve care for children with medical complexity (CMC). Dr. Sanders is PI on several federally funded studies, including RCTs of behavioral interventions. This includes founding the Greenllight Study Team, a long-standing, multi-site collaborative that aims to assess the efficacy of low-literacy, multi-modal interventions designed to prevent early childhood obesity. Another examines the efficacy of GoalKeeper, an AI-driven support for parent-provider coordination is CMC care. He is also PI on a health-literacy project to inform FDA guidance on medication information for adolescents with chronic illness, and co-PI on an HAI-funded initiative to measure and support parent-child interaction in early childhood. In partnership with the Graduate School of Education, Dr. Sanders also co-leads the Population Health in Schools (PHIS) Lab, which links health data with school data to address child health and educational disparities. Dr. Sanders received a BA in History and Science from Harvard University, an MD from Stanford University, and a MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. Between 2006 and 2011, Dr. Sanders was on faculty at the University of Miami, where he was Medical Director of the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, which fosters a scholarly community committed to addressing global health inequities through community-based participatory research. He also served as Medical Director of Children’s Medical Services South Florida, a Florida state agency that coordinates care for more than 10,000 low-income children with special health care needs, and as Medical Director for Reach Out and Read Florida, a pediatric-clinic-based program that provides books and early-literacy promotion to more than 200,000 underserved children. Since returning to Stanford University, Dr. Sanders has served as Division Chief for General Pediatrics, co-director of the Academic General Pediatrics Fellowship, and Co-director of the Family Advocacy Program, which provides free legal assistance to help address social determinants of child health.Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Sanders is co-director of the Complex Primary Care Clinic at Stanford Children’s Health, which provides multi-disciplinary team care for children with complex chronic conditions. Dr. Sanders is also a father of two daughters, who make sure he practices talking less and listening more.
As a general pediatrician with a joint appointment in Stanford Health Policy, my research focuses on the field of health literacy. Informed by social cognitive theory, I conduct interdisciplinary research to understand child and parent health literacy as potentially modifiable determinants of child health disparities. I am principal investigator on an NICHD-funded, multi-site, randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of a low-literacy, early-childhood intervention designed to prevent obesity in the first two years of life. I recently completed a community-based, participatory research study to examine the effectiveness of child health promotion delivered across a large network of early child-care centers in underserved communities (www.jumpstartforhealth.org). The aim of my current scholarship is to apply the health-literacy model to attenuate disparities for children with chronic illness and special health care needs. My work is informed by a public-health perspective and by delivering front-line care in underserved communities. Between 2006 and 2011, I served as Medical Director of Childrens Medical Services South Florida, a Florida state agency that coordinates care for more than 10,000 low-income children with special health care needs. I founded Stanford's Reach Out and Read program, and for ten years served as Medical Director for Reach Out and Read Florida, a pediatric-clinic-based program that provides books and early-literacy promotion to more than 200,000 underserved children. Prior to joining the Stanord faculty, I co-directed the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, which fosters a scholarly community committed to addressing global health inequities through community-based participatory research. I have served as an advisor to the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academic Pediatric Association, and the American Cancer Society. Fluent in Spanish, I maintain an active general pediatrics practice, serving an socioeconomically disadvantaged population of patients, with a focus on behavioral health, obesity prevention, post-NICU care of premature infants, and the care of complex chronic conditions.
Greenlight Plus Study: Approaches to Early Childhood Obesity Prevention
A randomized controlled trial enrolling 900 parent-infant dyads (English and Spanish
speaking) comparing Greenlight (control), a behavioral intervention focusing on nutrition,
physical activity, media use, and sleep as compared to Greenlight Plus (intervention) which
includes the above materials plus a health information technology (HIT) intervention aimed at
supporting family goal-setting and behavior change during well-child checks throughout the
first 2 years of life.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact SPECTRUM, .
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GoalKeeper: Intelligent Information Sharing for Children With Medical Complexity
This proposal addresses the major challenge of improving health outcomes for children with
cancer and other complex conditions, for whom the effectiveness of outpatient care depends on
care coordination across a diverse group of caregivers that includes parents, community
support organizations and pediatric care providers. The investigators have developed
GoalKeeper, a prototype system for supporting care coordination across multiple care
providers. The primary aim of the clinical trial is to assess the potential for this new
system, GoalKeeper, to improve meaningful use of goal-centered care plans in the care of
children with cancer and other complex chronic conditions.
Addressing Health Literacy and Numeracy to Prevent Childhood Obesity
In 2003, Surgeon General Richard Carmona suggested that low health literacy is "one of the
largest contributors to our nation's epidemic of overweight and obesity." Over 26% of
preschool children are now overweight or obese, and children who are overweight by age 24
months are five times as likely as non-overweight children to become overweight adolescents.
The aim of the study is to assess the efficacy of a low-literacy/numeracy-oriented
intervention aimed at teaching pediatric resident physicians to promote healthy family
lifestyles and prevent overweight among young children (age 0-2) and their families in