2019-2020 Participants

Learn more about them and their strategic initiatives below.

Steven D. Chang, MD

Professor, Neurosurgery

Vice Chairman, Strategic Development and Innovation

Dr. Chang is a Professor and Vice Chairman of Strategic Development and Innovation in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford. He is also the inaugural holder of the Robert C. and Jeannette Powell Professorship in the Neurosciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. His clinical work and research focuses on the treatment of brain tumors and cerebrovascular disease.

After receiving his Medical Degree and completing his Neurosurgery residency training at Stanford University, Dr. Chang joined Stanford’s Department of Neurosurgery in 2000. He was named full professor in 2008, and that same year was appointed as the Powell Professor in the Neurosciences. Dr. Chang has a national and international reputation as an expert in both microsurgery and radiosurgery for treatment of brain, spine, and skull base tumors, and is the Co-Director of the Surgical Neuro-Oncology Program. His radiosurgery practice focuses on the use of the Cyberknife to treat neoplasms of the brain and spine. He was instrumental in the rapid growth of the Stanford Cyberknife Radiosurgery Program and is currently Co-Director of this program. Dr. Chang also specializes in the treatment arteriovenous malformations and cavernous malformations of the brain and spine, and surgical treatment of intracranial aneurysms. A fellowship trained cerebrovascular neurosurgeon, Dr. Chang specializes in multi-modality therapy for these vascular lesions. He is also an expert in both microsurgery and radiosurgery for treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

Dr. Chang's research focuses on clinical outcomes for radiosurgery of brain and spine tumors. His lab has active research projects involving genetic analysis of arteriovenous malformation patients. He is the Director of the Stanford Neurogenetics Oncology Program and the Director of the Stanford Neuromolecular Innovations Program. He is the author or co-author of more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.

Outside of work, Dr. Chang enjoys spending time with his wife, Helen, and their three children, Allison, Ryan, and Caitlyn.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: Cyberknife Radiosurgery Program for Neuroscience Disorders

The Stanford Cyberknife Radiosurgery Program is an internationally renown center for the treatment of brain and spinal tumors and vascular malformations. Currently program growth has focused on oncologic applications. However, an ever expanding number of non-oncologic disorders in the field of neurosciences can be treated with radiosurgery. These include epilepsy, movement disorders (Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor), depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

As a leader in both radiosurgery and neurosciences, it is critical that Stanford be at the forefront in the treatment of these neurological disorders.

Specific Aims:

1. To develop a radiosurgical treatment program for epilepsy and work closely with the Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Center to offer this treat to patients. Within this program we will also develop a series of clinical trials to expand radiosurgery treatment for new epilepsy indications.

2. To develop a radiosurgical treatment program for movement disorders in collaboration with the Stanford Movement Disorders Center to provide a non-invasive treatment option for these patients.

3. To pilot novel radiosurgery treatments for the treatment of OCD and depression. This joint effort with the Department of Psychiatry will determine indications for treatment as well as screening and then treat patients with these disorders.

These initiatives will require collaborations between the Departments of Neurosurgery, Neurology, Radiation Oncology, Psychiatry, and Radiology. I have reached out to leadership in these Departments and have formalized strategy. Additional support will be required by SHC for capital expenditure and support staff to achieve the above aims, with discussions underway with SHC CFO and VP staff.

Nicholas J. Giori, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Orthopedic Surgery

Dr. Giori graduated from Stanford University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1986. He continued at Stanford as a graduate student in mechanical engineering, conducting research with Professor Dennis Carter in orthopedic biomechanics. As a graduate student he felt that the best way to impact people by applying his research and background was to be an orthopedic surgeon. He then entered medical school at Stanford and completed an MD and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1994. He remained at Stanford to complete his orthopedic surgery residency, and then completed a fellowship in joint replacement surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 2000. He returned to “the Farm” and has been a Stanford faculty member ever since.

 More Dr. Giori’s is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, a position he has held since 2006. He has served on the VA National Surgery Office Orthopedic Surgical Advisory Board and is currently the Chair of the Board. He has served on national committees for the VA and for national orthopedic organizations in addition to local committees at the Palo Alto VA hospital. He has research interests that focus primarily on joint replacement surgery. Recent grants and papers have focused on novel ways to identify poorly performing joint replacement implants, and predictive models to assess surgical risk and benefit in joint replacement. Dr. Giori is also dedicated to resident education and derives great satisfaction from contributing to the surgical maturation of Stanford orthopedic surgery residents and fellows.

Dr. Giori and his wife Kathy have two adult children. In addition to traveling to Italy, they enjoy hiking, running, mountain biking, adventure racing, and playing ice hockey together.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Controlling orthopedic opiate use following joint replacement surgery – a quality initiative and national implementation project in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System

The United States accounts for 5% of the world’s population but consumes 80% of the world’s supply of opiates. Within the United States, orthopedic surgeons are the third highest prescribers of opiates to patients greater than age 40. Among the most common orthopedic surgeries is total joint arthroplasty. Total joint arthroplasty is a painful operation that involves opiate administration for postoperative pain management.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) operates the largest integrated health care system in the nation. Total joint arthroplasty is the most common inpatient surgery in the VHA. Approximately 15,000 total joint arthroplasty procedures are performed annually in the VHA. There is a high degree of variability in postoperative opiate prescribing patterns around the country.

In this project, we will develop and trial an opiate prescribing protocol for postoperative total joint arthroplasty patients at several sites in the VA system. The protocol will have the goal of minimizing the amount of prescribed opiate while maintaining low medication refill requests, complications, ER visits, and reoperations. We will then move toward implementing this strategy across all VA medical centers performing joint replacement surgery.


Michael A. Gisondi, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

Vice Chair of Education

Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine

Dr. Michael Gisondi is the inaugural Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University. He is a medical education researcher and an expert in the application of social media in medical education. He is a leader in the fields of medical education and emergency medicine, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors, as well as the editorial boards of Academic Life in Emergency Medicine, the Journal of Education and Teaching in Emergency Medicine, and the international medical education conference, Medutopia. He is an associate editor for the textbook, Emergency Medicine, and conference faculty with the national certification course, EPEC-EM: Education in Palliative and End-of-life Care in Emergency Medicine.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Dr. Gisondi earned his Bachelor of Science with honors from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and his medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, where he was inducted in Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Stanford University, spending an additional year as Chief Resident. While at Stanford, he also completed a fellowship in Faculty Development with the Division of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Gisondi was a faculty member at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine from 2003 – 2017, where he held several leadership roles including Residency Program Director, Medical Education Scholarship Fellowship Director, and Director of the Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators. He was a Junior Fellow of the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern and a member of the Northwestern McGaw Graduate Medical Education Committee.

In 2014, Dr. Gisondi was awarded the National Faculty Teaching Award of the American College of Emergency Physicians and was named Alumnus of the Year for recognition of his early career achievements by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.


Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Medical Student Discovery Curriculum Focused on Medical Education Research


Physicians who are promoted to education leadership roles often lack the foundational knowledge and skills to be highly effective medical educators. These individuals are generally promoted to leadership positions in education because they are skilled and passionate bedside teachers. However, few have had any formal training in curriculum design, learner assessment, program evaluation, or education research. As a result, these individuals must seek additional training through faculty development programs and specialty conferences. Some choose to pursue MHPE or M.Ed. programs later in their career, at great opportunity and financial costs. As a result, programmatic change in our training programs moves slowly and may not follow educational best practices.

Medical schools provide split curricula for many career paths that include combined degrees – MD/MSCi, MD/MPH, MD/MBA, etc. – but not MD/M.Ed. I believe this paradigm must change. Medical students need the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees that promote an early career path in medical education.

Strategic Initiative:

The goal of this project is to design a two-year program of study in medical education research for medical students within the new Discovery Curriculum offered by the School of Medicine. The program will leverage faculty experts and resources at both the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Education. Students will be mentored in longitudinal education research projects with a goal of manuscript submissions in medical education journals. Students will have the opportunity to complete graduate coursework in research methods and will be encouraged to participate in existing School of Medicine programs such as the Clinical Teaching Seminar Series, Med X, and the Teaching & Mentoring Academy. Over time, I hope that the program would mature into a combined MD/M.Ed. curriculum in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education.

Sara Goldhaber - Fiebert

Clinical Associate Professor, Anesthesia

Sara Goldhaber-Fiebert, M.D. is passionate about enabling teams to deliver patient care effectively, particularly during crises or challenging circumstances. As a Clinical Associate Professor in Stanford’s Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Dr. Goldhaber-Fiebert’s work towards this goal spans collaborations with multiple interprofessional teams in the symbiotic realms of clinical, teaching, and research.

Dr. Goldhaber-Fiebert’s academic interests focus on implementation science of patient safety and improvement efforts. She draws upon successful interventions from simulated critical events, and translates these to clinical realms, with roles involving implementing and studying what works best and why, with the ultimate goal of enabling teams and institutions to deliver better care to patients. Sara and team have published extensively, and she enjoys presenting nationally and internationally, as well as mentoring medical students through junior faculty.

Dr. Goldhaber-Fiebert’s current most meaningful local leadership roles include developing and co-leading the Evolve Simulation Program, co-developing and leading implementation of Emergency Manuals at Stanford (http://emergencymanual.stanford.edu) with >400,000 downloads globally, and co-piloting an interprofessional simulation program for operating room (OR) teamwork and systems probing.

Nationally, most fulfilling has been her role as co-founder and steering committee member of the Emergency Manuals Implementation Collaborative www.emergencymanuals.org. Together, they disseminated free tools for better management of crises and built a toolkit to enable effective implementation and training with these tools, both of which are now commonly used globally. Their work has spearheaded and demonstrated a change in operating room culture from reluctance to acceptance of appropriately using emergency manuals, and a symbiotic improvement in teamwork, both enabling more effective diagnosis and treatment actions during crises.

In training, Dr. Goldhaber-Fiebert spent many years in either Cambridge, MA or foreign countries, before moving westward to Stanford. She studied at Harvard College (A.B, magna cum laude), Rotary Scholarship in Israel, Harvard Medical School (M.D.), Fulbright Fellowship to study implementation of nutrition and exercise programs for diabetic patients in rural Costa Rica, Internal Medicine Internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Anesthesia Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Fellowship in Simulation and Patient Safety at Harvard’s Center for Medical Simulation. After working briefly as an attending at Massachusetts General Hospital and faculty at Harvard Medical School, she joined Stanford faculty in 2008 and just celebrated a decade of working alongside many others here towards the three-part mission of Stanford Medical School.

Personally, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband and children (from whom she is constantly learning), hiking, biking, telemark skiing, traveling in diverse cultures, music, and recently re-exploring tennis.


Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Empowering teamwork and speaking up:

Developing and scaling up an interprofessional teamwork program

There is ample data that effective team communication is crucial for delivering optimal patient care. Yet, often team communication leaves room for improvement, even at Stanford, and until now we have lacked systematic training for this vital skill. In summer 2018, we completed the first pilot year of InterCEPT (Interprofessional Communication Education Program on Teamwork), developing monthly in situ immersive simulation-based trainings for general surgery teams. Given early positive impacts, we were asked to double in frequency and expand scope to training full teams also in other surgical specialties and procedural areas. The goal is to more broadly and deeply improve team communication and safety culture, for positive impacts spanning patients, clinicians, and SHC institutionally. InterCEPT is led by an interprofessional team of Directors: Dr. Jim Lau, Dr. Naola Austin, Dr. Ruth Fanning, Sarah Hirx, and myself, in close collaboration with perioperative, hospital, and risk management leadership.

Synergistic training impacts: OR clinicians are experiencing lightbulb ‘aha’ moments, finding value in understanding their interprofessional colleagues’ different perspectives during training debriefings. They are understanding why speaking up is vital, as well as how and when to speak up with key information and importantly for senior colleagues to empower other team members to speak up with their vital perspectives. Clinicians are beginning to informally report a clinical impact of improved teamwork on getting the appropriate care to our patients during both crises and everyday work. This seems to be particularly so when multiple trained team members -- who now share a mental model and communication vocabulary -- are working together on the same team, whether or not they have worked together previously. The goal is to determine institutionally meaningful impact measures, and to collect data for impacts in the realms of patient safety, safety culture, clinician wellbeing and retention, system cost and efficiency.

Effective interprofessional team training will enable broader SHC priority goals, such as delivering precision health to each of our patients amidst the common situation that team members hold different and mutually important perspectives or information.

Aida Habtezion, MD, MSc

Associate Professor, Medicine

Dr. Habtezion is the Ballinger-Swindells Family Scholar, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology and Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection at Stanford University.

Dr. Habtezion obtained her undergraduate degree with specialization in Chemistry from the University of Alberta in Canada. She completed her Masters in Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of Guelph. She then obtained her medical degree from McMaster University, internal medicine residency training from the University of Western Ontario, and Gastroenterology & Hepatology clinical fellowship training from the University of Toronto in Canada. Following her clinical fellowship training, she obtained postdoctoral research training in Gastroenterology & Immunology at Stanford University. She joined Stanford University as faculty in December 2010.

Aida leads a moderately sized translational lab of 17 individuals composed of senior scientists, physicians, research assistants, research coordinators, postdoctoral and graduate trainees. Her lab supported by multiple NIH R01s, Department of Defense, and Foundation grants aims to understand inflammatory pathways that are targetable in diseases affecting the gastrointestinal organs such as inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis. In 2011-2012 she was the named Digestive Disease Investigator, in 2012-2015 she received the Robert Wood Johnson Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award, in 2013 she received the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology Teaching Award, in 2016 the Immunology Faculty Mentor of the Year, in 2017 she received Synergy Award from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation for her research in inflammatory bowel disease. Also in 2017 she was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and into the American Pancreas Association (APA) Council. She also serves as a regular member in a NIH study section and the CCFA National Scientific Advisory Committee.

Born in Eritrea and coming from a large family, family comes first and challenges seem to offer unexpected opportunities. Having lived in three continents and four countries she enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Developing Stanford Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is a chronic disease on the rise worldwide and associated with major clinical and financial burden. Major gaps in the field include suboptimal disease control, deficiency in translational research that can lead to prevention, cure, early diagnosis, and better targeted therapies. Precision medicine in such a complex disease can only be accomplished by addressing these gaps. To reach this goal, a comprehensive IBD center is required that integrates a high quality multidisciplinary care, novel approaches that facilitate bidirectional link between research and clinical care, and one that fosters training the next generation that can fill the pipeline. 

Over a long term, the IBD center will encompass excellence in clinical care, research, and teaching. However, to initiate building it over the next 18 months, we will have to raise funds and rely on the uniqueness and strength that Stanford already possesses – this will also distinguish it in comparison to existing IBD centers. Stanford is internationally known for its strength in innovation as having strong basic science and research infrastructures (e.g. HIMC, ChEM-H, Bio-X, MIPS, Stanford Genomics). Therefore, a major goal would be to draw these innovative research and technologies available to IBD, initially by developing IBD working group that brings together researchers and clinicians to tackle IBD relevant issues.

Florette (Kim) K. Hazard, MD

Associate Professor, Pathology and Pediatrics

Dr. Hazard grew up in a military family with her parents and younger sister. They lived in several US states and Europe where she learned the finer points of light packing, good food and decisive decision-making. Following her travels, she attended Princeton University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She went on to earn the Doctor of Medicine degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Hazard completed her Anatomic and Clinical Pathology residency and Surgical Pathology fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine. Finally, she completed a fellowship in Pediatric Pathology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. She maintains board certifications in Anatomic, Clinical and Pediatric Pathology.

Dr. Hazard returned to Stanford University School of Medicine as faculty in 2008 as Assistant Professor and Director of Pediatric Surgical Pathology. Her potential as a leader in academic medicine is recognized by her peers and has led to her nomination for and participation in several prestigious leadership programs. These programs include the Stanford Leadership Development Program (2010), AAMC Minority Faculty Career Development Seminar (2014), Leading Team Science Teams workshop (2016), Association of Pathology Chairs’ Pathology Leadership Academy (2017) and the Stanford Medicine Leadership Academy (2018).

Over the course of 10 years at Stanford University School of Medicine, her leadership has built the Pediatric and Developmental Pathology surgical pathology service, the Perinatal Autopsy Consultation service and the ACGME accredited Pediatric Pathology Fellowship program. In 2018 she was promoted to Associate Professor and appointed Medical Director and Chief of Pathology Service for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

Dr. Hazard teaches pediatric pathology to medical students, residents and fellows. Her scholarly interests focus on the study of rare pediatric solid tumors, developmental disorders and perinatal/placental topics. She actively participates in national and international collaborations governing pediatric malignant liver tumors and serves as the national review pathologist for the Children’s Oncology Group germ cell tumors clinical trial (AGCT1531). She is an active academic pathologist participating in grant-funded research and has written numerous peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and web chapters. She presents her research findings to peers at national and international meetings and also serves as an invited lecturer.

Community service is a vital component to Dr. Hazard’s academic mission. She is the Department of Pathology Department Manager for Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Palo Alto Unified School District that provides unpaid internships to qualified students and young adults with special needs. Dr. Hazard maintains the current internships and develops new opportunities within the Department of Pathology. She is committed to this work and firmly believes gainful employment should be attainable to the special needs community.

Dr. Hazard enjoys visiting museums, libraries and sporting events in her spare time. She covets spending time with her husband and 3 children, ages 9, 6 and 3 years.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Developing a new Professional Practice Evaluation Committee (PPEC) for the Department of Pathology: Going from Punitive to Positive

Physician peer review is a well-established and necessary process to ensure physician competency and reduce medical errors. Each clinical specialty has its own policy for peer review. Historically, peer review within the Department of Pathology has focused on errors made by individual providers. This has led to an environment that has been regarded as negative, aggressive and punitive in nature. The Care Improvement Committee at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has taken the lead in changing the organizational culture of peer review. This has led to the transformation of this process to one that focuses on peer learning and process improvement. Its goals are to be: 1. transparent, 2. meaningful and constructive, 3. focused on individual and team accountability and 4. intimately linked with Quality Improvement and Patient Safety.

I will lead the efforts of the Department of Pathology to develop a new PPEC process of physician learning and process improvement with these shared goals. This will require the generation of PPEC subcommittees led by co-chairs that will govern each major clinical section of pathology: Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology/HLA laboratory and Transfusion Services/Blood Center. Each co-chair will also serve a 1 year term as PPEC chair. The subcommittees will align closely with departmental and hospital (Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health) quality representatives to set and monitor quality metrics. A separate process for identifying and evaluating concerns of repeated medical errors by individuals that are outside of the PPEC scope of learning and process improvement. This separate process will be initiated, when appropriate, by the PPEC chair.

Gloria Hwang, MD

Clinical Associate Professor of Radiology

Director of Clinical Performance Improvement

Dr. Hwang is a Bay Area native. She grew up in Sunnyvale when the city still had many fruit orchards, spent four years at Harvard where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Biochemical Sciences, then returned to Stanford for her MD degree and the remainder of her medical training, including an internship in General Surgery, residency in Diagnostic Radiology in which she served as chief resident, and fellowship in Interventional Radiology.

Dr. Hwang joined the Radiology faculty as a member of the division of Interventional Radiology in 2008. After four years running a translational research lab investigating therapies for acute pancreatitis and non-viral vectors for tumor cell transfection, she transitioned her focus to clinical care, education, and clinical research. As Associate Program Director and an enthusiastic advocate for radiology residents and fellows, she believes in improving the well-being of trainees through fostering leadership skills and a growth mindset.

This year, she assumed the role of Director of Clinical Performance Improvement in her department. She is developing a peer learning program that encourages a culture of safety to drive performance improvement, and she is coaching radiologists to spearhead performance improvement projects. She has also led IT initiatives in her department, including partnering with IT teams to create an IR adverse events reporting module within Epic and co-developing a novel intraprocedural documentation system for IR within Epic that automates physician report generation. More recently, she co-led the radiologist PACS selection committee, which played a critical role in the selection of a new PACS system to be installed in 2019, and she served as a physician leader in the GE PACS transition in July 2018, working with radiologists, hospital imaging services and IT leadership to smooth that transition.

Dr. Hwang has played an active role in the selection and recruitment of Radiology residents and Interventional Radiology fellows since 2009 and has been strongly committed to improving the diversity of the specialty. Only 9% of the active members of the Society of Interventional Radiology are women; Dr. Hwang is a member of the governing council of the Women in IR Section of SIR and helped draft the governing articles that led to the formation of the section. She has organized workshops and SAM sessions for SIR and currently co-chairs the Comparative Effectiveness Committee, which seeks to understand and demonstrate the value of IR through research.

She is also the proud mother of two feisty girls and enjoys spending her free time with her daughters and her husband, a neuro interventional radiologist who is a faculty member at UCSF.


Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Resident Leadership Program

Stanford is privileged to train exceptionally bright physicians; with that comes the responsibility to groom these trainees into the future leaders of medicine. Leadership training is not available to most residents: The Stanford Leadership Development Program and SMLA are available to faculty but not residents through a nomination process, and CELT, which is focused on quality improvement leadership, is available on a schedule that can be challenging for residents.

My goal is to create a resident-focused leadership training program. Steps to meeting this goal include:

1) Curriculum development

2) Determining the timing of meetings to fit resident schedules

3) Criteria-based selection of participants

4) Speaker recruitment

5) Determining deliverables from residents and program

6) Budget development and solicitation of financial support

7) Developing a leadership shadowing program

8) Developing a sustainment plan

Through this program, I hope to empower residents to effect positive change in their current and future roles.

Daniel Jarosz, PhD

Assistant Professor, Chemical & Systems Biology and Developmental Biology

Dr. Jarosz is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Developmental Biology at Stanford University. He is also a fellow of ChEM-H and a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford Neurosciences Institute, and Bio-X. Dr. Jarosz received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Washington, where he also minored in Physics as part of the Early Entrance Program. He then moved to MIT to obtain a PhD in Biochemistry, where his thesis work established the function of a low-fidelity DNA polymerase with roles in cancer and infectious disease, and identified means through which its activity is regulated in normal biology and disease states.

Following his graduation in 2007, Dr. Jarosz pusued postdoctoral training in genetics and cell biology as a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Here his work centered on the molecular chaperone Hsp90 – the so called ‘cancer chaperone’ – and its relationship to the capacity of genetic variation to produce new phenotypes. He also pioneered high throughput screening methods to investigate the physiological consequences of prion-like protein aggregation.

In 2013, Dr. Jarosz joined the Stanford faculty where the long-term goal of his NIH- and NSF-funded research program is to understand how some biological systems can remain unaltered for long periods, whereas others that are genetically identical undergo rapid diversification. This paradox lies at the heart of how neurons can be killed by improper expression of a single aggregation-prone protein, how cancer cells can tolerate extraordinary mutation burden, and how disease-associated mutations have devastating consequences in some individuals, but no effect in others. Dr. Jarosz’s work employs multidisciplinary approaches ranging from chemical biology to systems-level quantitative genetics and uses models as diverse as baker’s yeast and the African turquoise killifish. He has been named an NIH New Innovator and has received scholarships from the Searle, Glenn, Packard, Kimmel, and Vallee Foundations, but is proudest of the Louis Pasteur Prize from the Belgian Brewing Society.

In addition to his research activities Dr. Jarosz runs graduate admissions for the Chemical & Systems Biology Department and co-directs Foundations in Experimental Biology, the flagship course for incoming biosciences PhD students in the School of Medicine. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the School of Medicine Faculty Senate and as a mentor for the Vice Provost of Graduate Education’s Solidarity, Leadership, Inclusion, and Diversity (SoLID) Mentorship program. Outside of Stanford, Dr. Jarosz enjoys hiking, skiing, and just about any way of spending time with his wife, Mirna, and their three young children, Mark, Justin, and Phoebe.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

For his strategic initiative, Dr. Jarosz plans to create a Center for Proteostasis in Health and Disease that unites investigators from multiple schools across Stanford. The genomics revolution has produced extraordinary progress in Precision Health and Wellness. Yet many of the most devastating diseases, particularly those associated with aging, are often not driven by genetic mutations. Rather defects in biological pathways within cells that control the biogenesis, folding, aggregation, trafficking and degradation of proteins are responsible for disease initiation and progression. This problem is of critical importance: with increasing lifespan, diseases linked to protein misfolding will touch every family, and significantly burden our economy. Remarkably, the same protein sequences associated with pathology appear to function positively at other times. Controlled protein aggregation is important for development, immune function, and even long term potentiation of the synapse. Understanding the differences between these scenarios offers a potential route forward.

Unfortunately, virtually all therapeutic approaches deployed to date have failed, and assessment of ‘proteostasis’ has yet to be broadly integrated into personalized medicine. Cross-disciplinary thinking is urgently needed to catalyze a paradigm-shift in approach and ensuing advances in healthspan. Stanford is uniquely poised to tackle this problem, both from a fundamental and translational perspective.

• The School of Medicine’s pioneering discoveries in genomic medicine, such as those in Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s disease, have provided key insight into how demise of proteostasis is linked to disease initiation and progression.

• Investigators in the School of Medicine, the School of Humanities & Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the Carnegie Institute have developed a comprehensive collection of biological models in which protein aggregation plays a positive role, unrivaled in its depth at any institution in the world.

• Pioneering capabilities in microscopy (e.g. superresolution imaging) and structural biology (e.g. cryo-EM) at SLAC and on the main campus provide an unprecedented opportunity to view this biology in real time, overcoming a key barrier to understanding its role in health and disease.

• Stanford ChEM-H and AIM provide unparalleled expertise in developing small molecules, biologics, and other therapeutics.

By uniting research, training, and clinical activities in these areas the Center for Proteostasis in Health and Disease aims to harness Stanford’s strategic advantages in these areas to achieve transformative progress, expanding the promise of Precision Health and Wellness.

James R Korndorffer Jr., MD, MHPE, FACS

Vice Chair of Education

Associate Professor of Surgery

James R Korndorffer Jr MD MHPE FACS joined the Stanford Department of Surgery in December 2017 as the inaugural Vice Chair of Education. Dr. Korndorffer grew up in Gulf Breeze, FL and received his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University where he graduated cum laude. He returned to Florida and received his medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine. While there he served as class vice president and was selected as a student member for the LCME reaccreditation committee. His general surgery internship and residency was completed at The Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.

Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Korndorffer went into private practice however his passion for teaching was so strong that after 8 years, he left the high-volume practice which he co-managed and joined the faculty at Tulane University School of Medicine as a fellow in minimally invasive surgery and as an instructor in surgery. At the completion of the fellowship, he was recruited to stay at Tulane and joined the faculty as an Associate Professor of Surgery in 2005. In just 5 years he developed a national reputation as a leader in surgical education which facilitated his promotion to the rank of Professor of Surgery in 2010.

While at Tulane he served in numerous leadership roles. He was Vice Chair of the surgery department from 2012-17 as well as the Program Director for the surgical residency from 2006-17. As program director, he was instrumental in redesigning the educational experience of the surgical residency after the catastrophic events of Hurricane Katrina. Additional medical school wide leadership roles he held included Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education and founding Medical Director for the Tulane Center for Advance Medical Simulation.

He is actively involved in numerous national societies including the editorial board of the Surgical Council on Resident Education, chair of the research committee for the Association for Program Directors in Surgery, chair of the Curriculum Task Force for the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons and as a member of the Committee on Validation of Surgical Knowledge and Skills for the American College of Surgeons.

Because of his desire to continue to improve as a leader in surgical education, Dr. Korndorffer completed his Masters in Health Professions Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago while still working full time at Tulane. Dr. Korndorffer has published over 60 papers in peer reviewed journals, 5 book chapters and has presented at over 100 national meetings. His clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery for gastrointestinal disorders and hernias. His research interests include surgical education, surgical simulation, patient safety, and patient care quality.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Advancing Medical Education Through Cross-discipline Collaboration

BACKGROUND: Methods to develop learners’ knowledge, skill, and attitude in medical education are rapidly evolving. However much of the research in medical education lags behind that of the global education discipline as a whole. Limited understanding of cognitive psychology and motor skills learning theory by medical educators hinders true novel research that could have a wide effect. Additionally, the lack of understanding of enabling technology also hampers development. To overcome these obstacles, cross-discipline collaboration is critical. However, few medical schools are co-located with Schools of Education and Schools of Engineering, making such cross-discipline collaboration nearly impossible. Stanford Medicine is unique as it is situated in close, on-campus proximity to world class Schools of Education and Engineering. This opportunity is enhanced by the University’s commitment in the recent long-range plan to be a “world leader in learning”, be a “change agent for education” and to develop “integration across disciplines.” The advances in medical education research from the collaboration will benefit all disciplines involved, the learner and also through the learner, a lifetime of patients. These advances can be “Uniquely Stanford”.

PLAN: The strategic initiative focuses on the leadership needed to develop cross-discipline collaboration to advance medical education. Key leadership challenges are identifying the principal participants required for the development of the collaboration, identifying how each of these participants interests can be served through the collaboration, and identifying a system to make the collaboration convenient. Aim 1: Organize a working group of principal participants from the schools of medicine, education and engineering. Aim 2: Obtain funding and convene a half day conference incorporating the principal participants while drawing other potential collaborators into the initiative. Aim 3: Develop a mechanism to facilitate, track and maintain cross-discipline collaborative efforts. Aim 4: Submit two cross-discipline grant proposals that benefits all those involved. Aim 5: Create a structure for continued sustainability of the collaborative.

David Maahs, PhD

Professor, Pediatrics

Dr David M. Maahs is Professor of Pediatrics and Division Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at Stanford University and the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. He earned his MD followed by Pediatric Residency at the University of New Mexico. After 3 years on New Mexico’s faculty, Dr. Maahs completed a Pediatric Endocrinology fellowship and a concurrent PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Colorado. He remained on Colorado’s faculty for 10 years, advancing to Professor of Pediatrics before moving to Stanford. Prior to his medical career, Dr. Maahs received a BA and MA in English from the University of Kansas and was inspired to pursue a medical career after serving in the Peace Corps with assignments in Tunisia and the Central African Republic.

Dr. Maahs’ leadership experiences include being a past co-Chair (2013-16) for Protocols and Publications with the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange for which he continues as a Steering Committee member and Director of International Collaborations. This complements his role as Secretary-General for the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD, 2016-20) and Editor-in-Chief for the 2018 ISPAD Clinical Practice Consensus Guidelines. He currently serves on the Professional Practice Committee for the American Diabetes Association (ADA, 2016-18), which writes the annual ADA Standards of Care. Previously, he served on the ADA Scientific Sessions committee representing the Council on Youth. He has also served on national committees for the American Heart Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and multiple journal editorial boards and review committees.

His scholarly interest is improving care and preventing complications in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Along with Dr Peter Chase, he is author of the 12th and 13th editions of Understanding Diabetes, or ‘Pink Panther,’ which are the most widely used educational books for children newly diagnosed with T1D, distributed internationally by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF). More specifically, he has conducted epidemiologic studies that help generate hypotheses for clinical studies, including trials to develop artificial pancreas systems to improve glucose control, lower disease burden, and prevent diabetic complications. He is author or co-author of over 250 research publications. His multi-disciplinary research has been funded by the JDRF, the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Dr Maahs is Associate Director for the recently formed and NIDDK P30 funded Stanford University Diabetes Research Center (https://sdrc.stanford.edu). His collaborations extend to his role as Principal Investigator (PI) or steering committee member for NIH funded multi-center clinical trials including the FLEX, PERL, and ACTION studies as well as multiple Artificial Pancreas clinical trials. Education, mentorship, and training leadership includes being Program Director with Dr. Georgeanna Klingensmith on the Barbara Davis Center T32 and K12 training grants in Pediatric Endocrinology while at the University of Colorado.

While in the Peace Corps, David met his wife, Christine Walravens, who is also a Pediatrician at Stanford. They enjoy outdoor activities and traveling with their children, Nicholas (20) and Natalia (15).

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

My SMLA Strategic Initiative focuses on improving outcomes for children with type 1 diabetes (T1D), the most common diagnosis in Pediatric Endocrinology. Research has clearly established the importance of tight glucose control for short and long-term health for people with T1D, yet we have failed to effectively translate these results to Pediatric Diabetes clinics in the US. This initiative involves a multi-disciplinary diabetes team approach to utilize existing and emerging diabetes technologies and education strategies to implement scalable diabetes care to maintain tight control for newly diagnosed Pediatric T1D patients. Our approach is based on international success not yet translated to the US. The Stanford diabetes team will implement a revised diabetes education program to clearly communicate tighter targets at new onset and intensify glucose control as insulin needs and care demands increase. We will develop automated approaches to continuous glucose monitoring profiles with the Stanford SURF (Systems Utilization Research Force) team and utilize tele-health follow-up. As successful T1D care is more than glucose control, we also will closely monitor psychosocial and patient reported outcomes as metrics of success.

Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Associate Chair, Inclusion and Diversity

Director, Translational Therapeutics/Rodriguez Lab

Dr. Carolyn Rodriguez utilizes her training as a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and clinical researcher to innovate rapid-acting treatments to relieve the suffering of patients with severe mental illnesses, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She has led landmark clinical trials that pioneered new targeted treatments and investigated the role of glutamatergic pathways. As the Director of the Translational Therapeutics Lab and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, she developed methods that combine in vivo drug infusions with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalograpy (EEG) to map human brain circuit dysfunction in real time. This experimental medicine approach is critical to understanding the brain basis of psychiatric illnesses and will transform mental health care.

Carolyn is currently engaged in NIH, foundation, and donor funded mechanistic and clinical efficacy studies of glutamate-modulating compounds, non-invasive brain stimulation, and psychotherapy in OCD. Additional studies focus on understanding the brain mechanisms involved in hoarding disorder and how hording behaviors differ from normal collecting. Carolyn also provides mental health care for Veterans as a Consultation-Liaison psychiatrist at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs.

Carolyn serves as Associate Chair for Inclusion and Diversity in the Department of Psychiatry, Vice Chair for the Research Council of the American Psychiatric Association, Vice Chair for the International OCD Foundation Research Symposium, and Director, Executive Board of International College of Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders. She has won several national awards, including most recently, the 2017 Eva King-Killam Award for Outstanding Translational Research. To educate the public on research findings and resources for clinical care, Carolyn contributes articles for Huffington Post and Harvard Business Review.

Carolyn received her B.S. in Computer Science from Harvard University in 1996, followed by a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Genetics from Harvard Medical School and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School-M.I.T. in 2004. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now lives with her husband and 3 children in Palo Alto.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Mission: To create a University-wide NeuroPET program to develop novel molecular contrast agents (“probes”) to target molecular disease brain mechanisms and to allow interdisciplinary Stanford researchers to collaborate on mechanistic neuropharmacology clinical trials.

Objective: In the next 18 months, I will develop a proposal for a NeuroPET program with key stakeholders across Stanford Medicine departments including Radiology, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Anesthesia.

Challenges: Given the difficulty of accessing the human brain, non-invasive neuroimaging techniques such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) combined with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are ideally suited to the study of in vivo neurobiological processes. However, while well-established radiotracers exist, developing novel radiotracers for use in the brain requires establishing infrastructure and coordinating technical and regulatory expertise across multiple departments.

Opportunity: Building on the existing strengths of Stanford as a leader in PET/MRI technology and neurobiological research, the proposed initiative has three objectives: 1) building infrastructure for novel radiotracer development, 2) adding streamlined service center capabilities, and 3) serving as a interdisciplinary nexus for engineers, physicists, and clinical and basic research scientists interested in advancing novel therapeutics. If successful, this program will provide a template for cross-departmental and interdisciplinary initiatives.

Veronica Santini, MD, MA

Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology

Dr. Veronica Santini joined the Stanford Neurology faculty in 2014, where she has a busy movement disorders and clinical research practice. Dr. Santini co-directs the Multidisciplinary Huntington Disease and Ataxia Clinic, where she oversees a large and dedicated team of specialists providing truly holistic, patient-centered care. In her first year of directing the clinic, it received the prestigious designation as a HDSA Center of Excellence and has maintained this designation under her leadership. She has taken a similar multidisciplinary approach in development of global neurologic programs and travels annually to provide neurologic care to the impoverish nation of Haiti. Due to this work, she was named a Fellow of the Stanford University Center for Innovation in Global Health. She also has a particular interest in the management of autonomic dysfunction, including Multiple System Atrophy. Dr. Santini was 1 of only 12 international candidates selected as an American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Emerging Leader and 1 of 30 candidates selected as an AAN Palatucci Advocate.

Dr. Santini is also enthusiastic about medical education and has a responsibility in teaching Stanford medical students from their first to their graduating years at Stanford. She was selected as an Educator 4 C.A.R.E., where she directs a learning community of over 30 students throughout their training. Dr. Santini further teaches in the preclinical medical education as the Quarter 3 Lead of the Practice of Medicine course and as a lead instructor in the Brain and Behavior portion of the Science of Medicine course. She resumes her instruction to the senior medical students as the Associate Clerkship Director of the Neurology Clerkship, becoming Co-Clerkship Director in July of 2018. She is also an influential educator and mentor for the neurology residents and the movement disorders fellows, implementing several curricula for these trainees. Dr. Santini has won numerous teaching awards, including distinctions as the recipient of the Neurology Clerkship Educator award and the Lysa Forno Excellence in Teaching award. She is also member of multiple School of Medicine committees for resident and medical student teaching.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Comprehensive Neuroscience Education: Joining the Family

Neurological disorders are among the leading causes of disability worldwide, accounting for 30% of the total burden of disease as measured in years of life lost and years of life lived with significant disability. This is considered an underestimation as some conditions, such as traumatic brain injury, are not included in these data and because neurologic disease is often under-recognized internationally. In the United States, there are only 16,000 neurologists trained to provide care for the fifty million Americans diagnosed with a new neurological disorder each year, a workforce deficiency projected to increase to 19% by 2025. Despite these deficiencies, merely (an approximate) 2% of medical students enter neurology residency programs each year, even though many students enter medical school with an interest in neuroscience and having completed an undergraduate neuroscience major. Research concentrating on medical student selection of neurology continues to implicate “Neurophobia” as a prominent deterring agent, but more recent reports focus on modifiable factors such as implementation of mandatory 3rd-year Neurology clerkships and longitudinal mentorship programs.

Programs that emphasize the professional identity formation of a student may help maintain an ongoing interest in the neurosciences. This proposed program will seek to expose, engage, and educate students longitudinally in the neurosciences, highlighting clinical experiences, basic and clinical neuroscience research opportunities, neurologic medical education (with near peer teaching opportunities), patient education and advocacy, career counseling, and longitudinal paired mentorship. To accomplish this goal, skilled neurologic educators will become the project champions of each of the outlined longitudinal themes with a workgroup of residents and interested senior students mastering the action plan of each of the theme goals. Faculty and resident participants will also receive educational and mentorship development skills to enhance their abilities and increase the effectiveness of this program. The students completing the program will have developed a longitudinal portfolio underlining their professional development and a strengthened their sense of solidarity within the neurologic community, aiding in their professional identity formation. Furthermore, these activities bolster the students’ credentials for acceptance into residency. 

Construction of such a program will also offer the unique ability to centralize neurologic research, education, and advocacy across campus increasing accessibility and collaboration for all students, residents, and researchers. Furthermore, this program can be used as a model for all specialties. I hope to provide an intellectual and emotional home for students, while their participation in research, teaching, and other activities of the discipline will make them “part of a family.”

Jay Shah, MD

Associate Professor, Urology

Dr. Jay Shah, MD is a staff surgeon and associate professor of Urology at Stanford University. He is also the Cancer Care Program Leader for Urologic Oncology at the Stanford Cancer Center. He is widely respected for his work on optimizing outcomes after surgery for bladder cancer and he lectures internationally on this topic. He is a graduate of the American Urological Association Leadership Academy and he sits on multiple national AUA committees. With a deep interest in quality improvement work, Dr. Shah is the Physician Improvement Leader for the Stanford Department of Urology and a Medical Director of the Stanford Realizing Improvement Through Empowerment (RITE) Program. Since joining the Stanford faculty in February 2017, Dr. Shah has successfully completed the Comparative Effectiveness and Leadership Training (CELT) Program and the Stanford Leadership Development Program. His vision is to have Stanford Urology become known for raising future leaders. With this goal in mind, he has started an accredited fellowship training program in Urologic Oncology and a QI/leadership training program for urology residents.

Dr. Shah graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Biological Sciences from Harvard College. He obtained his medical degree and completed his urology residency training at Columbia University. During his time at Columbia, Dr. Shah was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society; he was named Physician of the Year by the nursing staff; and he was recognized by the medical students with the Gold Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award. After residency, he completed a three-year fellowship in Urologic Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center where he earned a coveted faculty position. During his time as faculty at MD Anderson, Dr. Shah launched the bladder cancer robotics program, developed an enhanced recovery program for patients undergoing bladder removal surgery, became double board-certified in Urology and Medical Quality, and was chosen to lead the MDACC Genitourinary Center as Center Medical Director.

In his free time, Dr. Shah enjoys reading, cooking, hiking and exploring the beaches of Northern California in his Jeep Wrangler with his family and 2 dogs.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

PREP-D for Surgery: Preoperative Referral and Evaluation Program - Digital


With the goal of obtaining the highest quality medical care available, patients in need of surgery look to Stanford Healthcare for access to novel surgical options, cutting-edge technology, and promising clinical trials. Many of these patients travel incredibly long distances to undergo surgery at Stanford. By necessity, the preparation of a patient for surgery requires involvement of several different medical providers (surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, etc). Due to the logistical constraints of scheduling, patients are typically asked to make multiple visits on different days to be seen by each of these various Stanford providers. This can introduce significant delays in care. Furthermore, given the financial, emotional, and time burdens of repeated long drives to Stanford, many patients opt to have as much of their pre-operative preparation and risk assessment done locally as possible. This introduces tremendous variability in the quality of pre-operative risk assessments. For our sickest patients, poor quality pre-operative risk assessments can lead to cancellations of surgery or even worse, increased risk of surgical complications. Regardless of whether patients choose the inconvenience of multiple trips to Stanford or the risk of poor quality pre-operative assessment, there is a deterioration in the patient experience.

Problem Statement:

Suboptimal coordination of care for patients desiring surgery at Stanford HealthCare leads to multiple fragmented visits, highly variable pre-operative assessment, poor patient experience, and unnecessary delays in care.


As my Strategic Initiative Project for the Stanford Medicine Leadership Academy (SMLA), I aim to partner with colleagues in the departments of anesthesia, internal medicine, and digital health strategy to explore methods to optimize pre-operative coordination of care. Specifically, I propose to create a digitally advanced remote pre-operative preparation and risk assessment center. We will assemble a core group of providers in anesthesia, cardiology, pulmonology, hematology, and endocrinology who will evaluate pre-surgical patients using a digitally advanced video appointment platform. The video appointments will be billable and they will be completely integrated into the existing Epic electronic medical record. This digital clinic will allow patients to be evaluated and optimized for surgery by a Stanford provider without the need for repeat trips back to Stanford. For patients, the ability to have these consultations done from home will greatly increase convenience and satisfaction by saving tremendous time, money, and energy. For Stanford providers, this program will greatly increase the efficiency of the referral process and the quality of the preoperative evaluations that are performed.

Kate Shaw

Clinical Associate Professor, OB/Gyn

Dr. Kate Shaw, a northern California native, completed undergraduate studies at UC Davis with a degree in Nutrition Science. She spent several years working in BioTech, investigating novel drug delivery and immunological therapies for cancer. Kate’s desire for direct patient care, and a passion for women’s health, propelled her to Albany Medical College in New York and subsequent pursuit of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Kate completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University and a fellowship in Family Planning at Stanford University School of Medicine. Early in her medical training she discovered she delighted in and excelled at teaching and has since combined that with her passion for reproductive health. By training current and future providers, and by empowering her patients, she aims to improve access and overcome women’s health disparities.

During fellowship Kate obtained a Masters in Epidemiology and Clinical Research from Stanford. She has since led several clinical trials and epidemiologic studies on abortion and contraception, with the goal of improving patient experience and access. Within her field she is nationally recognized for her research and is regularly invited to speak on national and international panels on abortion care.

Kate was recruited to Stanford OB/GYN’s faculty to help lead the Residency program and was promptly and repeatedly recruited to several other departmental roles with increasing leadership responsibility. As the Medical Director for Ambulatory Gynecology she successfully worked to increase patient access and expanded the faculty clinic to accommodate a rapidly growing division. In addition, she has contributed to governance by serving as the Co-Chair on the Department Space Planning Committee, Co-Chair on the Compensation and Incentive Committee, Member-at-Large on the Leadership Council and the Champion for the Department Strategic Planning. Kate also serves as the Associate Division Director of the Division of Family Planning where she has played a vital role in recruiting new faculty and staff to expand the division and its research efforts.

Kate’s devotion to medical education has been acknowledged by her receipt of frequent teaching awards, reiterated consistently throughout residency, fellowship and her time as faculty. Since being recruited as Stanford’s OB/GYN Residency Program Director, she has led expansion of the residency and is a leader and team-player in curriculum redesign, striving to adopt innovative approaches in resident training. She also truly enjoys mentoring medical learners at all levels; as the Associate Fellowship Director for Family Planning she formally oversees the clinical and research training of 2-3 fellows, in addition to numerous residents and medical students.

While Kate is both an accomplished teacher and researcher, it is through her provision and role-modeling of compassionate clinical care that she feels she most strongly demonstrates her commitment to guaranteeing access to comprehensive women’s health. By mentoring students and residents, she works to advocate for advancement in women’s health. During fellowship, she worked with the World Health Organization, as a consulting physician helping to establish their framework for ensuring human rights were maintained in the provision of contraception. She continues to travel internationally several times a year, advocating for comprehensive women’s health by providing hands-on training to local providers on safe contraceptive, abortion and post abortion care.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Integrating Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanford

Provision of women’s health at Stanford is divided between Stanford Hospital and Clinics (SHC) and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH). With Labor & Delivery located at LPCH, prenatal care and management of high risk pregnancies is provided in the outpatient clinics at LPCH by faculty in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. However, gynecologic care of the same patients is housed in the adult hospital and SHC outpatient clinics where the same faculty provide well woman care, contraception services and gynecologic specialty care throughout the lifespan. This division of care provision is exaggerated by the separate epic systems and hospital infrastructure and is a source of patient and provider dissatisfaction. 

My strategic initiative proposes to integrate obstetric and gynecologic care, in both settings, to improve continuity of care as well as patient and provider satisfaction, with a goal to retain women and their families within Stanford Medicine.

I will coordinate with department and hospital leadership (SHC and LPCH) to expand services provided by faculty in their outpatient clinics.

1. SHC Gynecology Clinic: expand services to include prenatal care.

2. LPCH Obstetrics Clinic: expand services beyond the window of pregnancy to include preconception counseling, miscarriage management, contraception and well woman care 

This project will require inter-hospital collaboration. Beyond developing leadership support, I will coordinate implementation of these expanded services by working with clinic management and physician leadership to develop work-flows, templates, patient information and staff training.

John Sunwoo

Professor, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. John Sunwoo is the Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and a head and neck surgeon-scientist at Stanford University. He graduated from Brown University, majoring in Biochemistry, and received his MD from Washington University in St. Louis. Following medical school, he completed his residency in otolaryngology at Washington University and spent two years at the National Institutes of Health as a clinical research fellow. Following his clinical training, Dr. Sunwoo completed a five-year postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Wayne Yokoyama at Washington University, where he studied the development and differentiation of natural killer (NK) cells.

Dr. Sunwoo joined Stanford in 2008 and currently serves as the physician leader of the Head and Neck Cancer Care Program at the Stanford Cancer Institute and the Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research in the Department of Otolaryngology. Dr. Sunwoo’s particular clinical expertise and interest is in the surgical treatment of melanoma and thyroid malignancies.

Dr. Sunwoo is the principal investigator of an independent NIH-funded laboratory, and his research is focused on cancer immunology. He is interested in (1) understanding how tumor heterogeneity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma determines the host immune response to malignant cells, including a resilient subpopulation of tumor-initiating cells, called cancer stem cells; and (2) how to modulate NK cells and T cells to control tumors. In addition to teaching clinical residents and fellows, Dr. Sunwoo is also active in the Immunology, Cancer Biology, and Bioengineering graduate programs and mentors PhD graduate students in his laboratory.

Outside of work, Dr. Sunwoo enjoys skiing, running, and spending time with his wife (Jill), a facial plastic surgeon in Palo Alto, son (Reed, age 10), and daughter (Parker, age 8).

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

Cancer Center-Wide Integration of Enhanced Tissue Procurement Protocols into Clinical and Surgical Encounters

Translational and clinical research at Stanford has led to the discovery and development of a number of novel therapeutics for cancer. Examples include rituximab therapy for lymphoma; the development of the first cancer vaccine; and most recently, an antibody to target a molecule overexpressed on cancer stem cells. Such research is increasingly dependent on tissue and blood procurement from patients. In addition, recent advances in research methodology now require multiple highly specialized ways in which the tissue is collected and used. While existing tissue banking efforts attempt to collect tissue comprehensively, several barriers and limitations exist, including suboptimal logistics for the consenting of patients; inefficient and incomplete procurement of tissue during certain portions of normal clinical workflows; difficulty in meeting individual research projects’ technical needs while attempting to universalize collection protocols; and lack of an accessible database with clinical annotation.

In this project, we will improve on existing tissue procurement protocols by: (1) introducing the value of contributing tissue for research to all new patients seen at the Stanford Cancer Center prior to their initial visit; (2) integrating an electronic consenting process for tissue procurement into the Cancer Center clinics; and (3) working with leaders in the Stanford Cancer Institute Tissue Bank, the Stanford Biobank, the Department of Pathology, and the Cancer Clinical Trials Office to develop and operationalize improved standard workflows that complement, and not compete, with patient care.