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The Brief  
Stanford Medicine
January 2019
Deans Note
Credit: Steve Fisch
Message from Dean Minor
This January, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we as a nation not only celebrated the achievements of the great civil rights leader, we also reflected on the progress we have made during the 50 years since Dr. King was fatally shot. In many ways, we are still far from rising up and living out our creed that all people are created equal. And yet, I feel great encouragement when I consider the many individuals across our community and around our nation who are committed to seeing Dr. King’s dream realized. 

Here at Stanford, where we have made diversity and inclusion a core value, we share this commitment to promoting equality and justice and to creating a culture where all members feel welcome and supported. This month, it was rewarding to see our efforts recognized when Stanford was ranked by Forbes among America’s Best Employers for Diversity. Read more.

It’s especially gratifying to see that we at Stanford Medicine are not only promoting equality and inclusion among our own community but also contributing to diversity on a national scale. In honor of Black History Month, which begins tomorrow, I’d like to recognize one of our trainees, Nadine Burke Harris, who recently made history when she was named California’s first-ever surgeon general. Dr. Burke, who did her pediatrics residency here at Stanford Medicine, has changed the way we understand childhood trauma and will no doubt use her platform to improve the health of all Californians, bringing us one step closer to Dr. King’s dream. Read more in Quartz.

Spotlight
Physician-Scientist Navigates Own Health Challenges
Credit: Steve Fisch
Physician-Scientist Navigates Own Health Challenges
If you only have time for one story this month, I hope you will read this inspiring profile of pediatric gastroenterologist Eric Sibley. Despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Eric has shown an indomitable spirit, becoming the first African American to begin his career as a postdoc at Stanford Medicine and rise through the ranks to the highest faculty position. Read more in Inside Stanford Medicine and Scope.

Stanford Medicine Leads the Way in Addressing Physician Burnout
Credit: Marlon Lara on Unsplash
Stanford Medicine Leads the Way in Addressing Physician Burnout
Through the work of our Chief Wellness Officer and WellMD Center, Stanford Medicine has been at the forefront of the national effort to combat physician burnout. Now other institutions are beginning to follow our lead, as highlighted in this report by the Massachusetts Medical Society. Based on the results of a new Medscape survey, these efforts are needed now more than ever. Read the reports by Mass Med and Medscape.

Henry Marsh Shares Insights Into Neurosurgery and More
Credit: Rod Searcey
Henry Marsh Shares Insights Into Neurosurgery and More
As part of the Dean’s Lecture Series, I was delighted to host Henry Marsh, an acclaimed and outspoken neurosurgeon, for a fireside chat. During our wide-ranging conversation, the author of Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon shared his support of physician-assisted death, his belief that consciousness is an illusion, and his opinion on the only reasonable question for a patient to ask a doctor. Watch the video and learn more.

Stanford University Affordability Initiative and Assessment
Credit: Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service
Stanford University Affordability Initiative and Assessment
Last fall, Stanford University established an Affordability Task Force to better understand and explore possible solutions for addressing affordability issues in the Bay Area. I encourage all faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and staff to provide input to the task force by completing the Affordability Assessment. A personalized link to the survey was sent on January 28. Learn more (requires SUNet ID).

Packard Children’s Broadcast Studio Brings Fun and Way to Connect
Courtesy of Packard Children’s Hospital 
Packard Children’s Broadcast Studio Brings Fun and Way to Connect
This story brought a smile to my face. A new broadcast studio at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is now airing live and recorded entertainment for patients who can also be featured on one of several daily programs. These shows provide an outlet for expression and fun while helping to build a sense of patient community and connection. Read more in Inside Stanford Medicine and Scope.

Stanford Researchers Create a Wireless, Battery-Free Blood Sensor
Credit: Rachel Baker
Stanford Researchers Create a Wireless, Battery-Free Blood Sensor
Surgeon Paige Fox and her Stanford colleagues have built a device that wirelessly monitors blood flow after surgery. It’s battery-free, wireless, and biodegradable. Read more in Inside Stanford Medicine and Scope.

A Different Kind of Wireless at Stanford Health Care
Courtesy of Stanford Health Care
A Different Kind of Wireless at Stanford Health Care
Stanford Health Care has adopted a wireless system for tagging breast cancer tumors that not only reduces patient anxiety and discomfort but also improves precision in locating lesions. Read more.

Engineered Immune Cells Target Broad Range of Pediatric Tumors
Credit: Steve Fisch
Engineered Immune Cells Target Broad Range of Pediatric Tumors
In mouse studies, a Stanford-led team has developed an immune cell that eliminates several types of childhood tumors. The innovation may help with relapsed or metastatic disease. Read more in Inside Stanford Medicine and Scope.

Stanford Researchers Discover the Neurons that Make Pain Unpleasant
Credit: Paul Sakuma
Stanford Researchers Discover the Neurons that Make Pain Unpleasant
Pain sensation and the emotional experience of pain are not the same, and now, in mice, Stanford scientists have found the neurons responsible for the latter. Read more in Inside Stanford Medicine and Scope.

Health Policy Forum: Suicide in America with Anne Case
Courtesy of Anne Case
Health Policy Forum: Suicide in America with Anne Case
Anne Case of Princeton (pictured) and Rebecca Bernert of Stanford will discuss the increasing rate of suicide in America and what can be done to reverse this trend. Boxed lunches will be available after the forum.

Monday, February 25
12–1 pm
Clark Center Auditorium

Learn more and register.

Dean’s Lecture Series with RWJF’s Richard Besser
Courtesy of Richard Besser
Dean’s Lecture Series with RWJF’s Richard Besser
Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will talk about health equity and the social determinants of health, inviting questions from the audience. Lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, March 6
12–1 pm
Berg Hall

Learn more and register.


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