Anita Honkanen, MD, Named Associate Dean for Wellness and Student Life Advising

February 24, 2022

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Anita Honkanen, MD, Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Management, as the School of Medicine’s Associate Dean for Wellness and Student Life Advising.

Since joining the Stanford School of Medicine faculty in 2003, Dr. Honkanen has excelled as an educator, clinician, and leader and has proven herself a highly esteemed mentor of students, residents, fellows, and faculty. Additionally, throughout her career, Dr. Honkanen has been at the forefront of Stanford Medicine’s wellness efforts – serving as the Director of Wellbeing for the Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology; a member of the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine’s Peer Support and Resilience in Medicine (PRIME) Wellness program; and on Stanford Health Care’s Physician Resource Network (PRN).

As an educator and researcher, she primarily focused on developing educational and system testing models for the team operating room (OR) environment using high-fidelity simulation. This knowledge informed her efforts while serving as Stanford School of Medicine’s chief of the Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology from 2006 to 2019. In that role, she led development of the high-fidelity pediatric simulation OR training models used at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and adopted at other institutions across the country.

Beyond Stanford, Dr. Honkanen has helped cultivate a skilled and diverse clinician workforce nationally through her active participation on the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, the Pediatric Anesthesia Leadership Council, and the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia’s Women’s Empowerment Leadership Initiative.

As Associate Dean for Wellness and Student Life Advising, Dr. Honkanen will report to me and will work closely with Rebecca Smith-Coggins, MD, Associate Dean for Medical Student Life Advising as this important role continues to evolve. Please congratulate Dr. Honkanen on her appointment and welcome her to this new role at the School of Medicine.

Neil Gesundheit, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education