In an effort to articulate a shared vision for the future, the leaders of Stanford's three health-related organizations started with the understanding that collaboration was one of their most powerful tools in innovation and leading the biomedical revolution in precision health.
They also knew that the driving force for innovation lies in the intellect and creativity of the people in the three entities that make up Stanford Medicine: Stanford's School of Medicine, Stanford Children's Health, and Stanford Health Care. So they began by tapping into that brain power, sending out 16,000 surveys seeking input from researchers, clinicians, students, staffers and faculty members. More than 4,000 people responded, beginning a months-long process of creating an integrated strategic plan with three defining pillars to guide the future: value-focused, digitally driven and uniquely Stanford.
The new issue of Stanford Medicine explores the process of weaving the ideas into a shared plan, and how their vision is playing out in research, education and health care.
"Several people who have been here for years have come up to me and said, 'You know, the School of Medicine and the hospitals have never worked as well together as they are now,'" Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, comments in the lead story of magazine. "And that's very meaningful to me. That holds promise not just for Stanford Medicine, but for all the lives we hope to improve."
Stories in the magazine illustrate Stanford Medicine's vision for the future:
- A palliative care specialist and an informatics expert are using a tool that combines artificial intelligence technologies with medical expertise to help clinicians make more informed and humane decisions about end-of-life care.
- At Stanford's Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center, researchers are using machine learning and health data from individuals in an effort to stop diseases before they cause real damage, with the ultimate goal of preventing it entirely.
- Three projects illustrate Stanford Medicine's precision health to improve the lives of 2 billion people around the globe by 2025.
- Stanford's fast-growing SPARK drug development program has given hundreds of academic researchers the training and connections to more quickly get their discoveries into the hands of doctors and patients.
- Microbiologists and immunologists are developing tools to define and manipulate our gut microbiota in a battle against such disorders as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and heart disease.
Also, science writer Krista Conger recounts the story of a professor whose act of allowing research colleagues to analyze cells from his lungs after he was diagnosed with cancer could culminate into the world's largest study into what goes wrong when lung cells become cancerous. You'll also learn about how a dermatologist's distant memory of learning about a rare disease helped her diagnose a woman who was nearly bedridden from debilitating pain for almost a year.
Image by Mark Smith