RANDALL S. STAFFORD, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine and the Director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices (PPOP). After undergraduate studies in medical sociology at Reed College, Dr. Stafford received a Master's degree in Health Administration from Johns Hopkins University, a PhD in Epidemiology from UC Berkeley, and his Medical degree from UC San Francisco. He completed a residency in primary care internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a post-doctoral fellowship in epidemiology at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to his research focus, Dr. Stafford is a primary care physician in the Stanford Internal Medicine Clinic where he focuses on chronic disease prevention and treatment. He serves on expert committees advising a diverse range of organizations, including the California Medicaid program, the National Committee on Quality Assurance, the American Heart Association, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Professor Stafford and his research team focus on investigating physician and patient practices in order to create effective healthcare models that emphasize prevention and wellness, rather than treatment of disease symptoms. His mission is to improve population health outcomes through research that facilitates the development and broad dissemination of effective, efficient, innovative, and evidence-based prevention strategies. Examples of these innovations include team-based care, patient self-management, health policy strategies, the use of mobile health technology, and online physician retraining. In addition, Dr. Stafford seeks to develop future leaders in prevention research and to broadly communicate the critical value of a population health perspective.
Dr. Stafford has been principal investigator on many research investigations that test strategies to diminish the burden of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease while reducing health disparities and decreasing health care costs. Dr. Stafford’s rigorous, high-quality research has led to more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, including many in such high impact journals as JAMA and NEJM. His accomplishments have been recognized by advancement to fellowship in the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American Heart Association.
Professor Stafford was the founding leader of the WELL-China initiative, part of Stanford’s Wellness Living Laboratory (WELL) that has additional sites in Taiwan, Singapore, and California. Taking place in the famous city of Hangzhou, WELL-China is a multidisciplinary, collaborative initiative between Dr. Stafford, the Health Bureau of Hangzhou, and leading researchers from Zhejiang University, one of China's oldest and most prestigious universities.
The WELL-China project focuses on measuring well-being, human function, chronic disease risk factors, environmental indicators, and biomarkers in a sample of 10,000 citizen scientists recruited from the Xihu (Westlake) District of Hangzhou. By investigating the interplay among health behaviors, well-being, and the development of chronic disease, the project will make new discoveries about well-being at the community level. At the same time, the project will help local health centers reduce the burden of chronic disease in the population. The WELL-China population will also serve as a platform for clinical trials that test multiple strategies to improve and maintain well-being. Whether focused on specific conditions or aimed at well-being in the whole population, these approaches will include physical activity, sleep and stress management, dietary changes, and other modalities growing out of both Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). These comparative effectiveness clinical trials will identify the most cost-effective and sustainable approaches to improving well-being in communities.