On a Saturday last September, hundreds of walkers and runners hit the trails and the treadmills, putting in miles to raise money for organ donations in California. But Rand Bresee, 46, took to the halls of Stanford Hospital instead.

Bresee received a new heart and lungs in February 2020. When a few transplant nurses, including Liz Orgon, MSN, were organizing a team for the walk, Bresee — the unit’s frequent walker who was also lifting weights and cycling with small foot-powered pedals — was a natural fit. Orgon asked if he wanted to join the team. “You could see his…


A Stanford Medicine researcher finds that the Affordable Care Act’s insurance subsidies have protected low-income Americans against high medical costs.

By Mandy Erickson

The insurance subsidies established under the 2010 Affordable Care Act help protect low-income U.S. residents against high health care costs, a Stanford researcher has found.

“Those subsidies did what they were intended to do, which is to make health care costs more affordable,” said Charles Liu, MD, a general surgery resident at Stanford Medicine.

An article about his research appears in Health Affairs.

Previous studies have shown that one aspect of the ACA — expanding Medicaid to more Americans — has helped those who qualify for the public insurance program avoid high health care costs. …


Sharon Hampton is focusing on patient equity as a nursing leader at Stanford Health Care. Getting to know patients and staff is key, she says.

By Mandy Erickson

As a teenager, Sharon Hampton, PhD, a nurse leader at Stanford Health Care, wanted to be a biology teacher. But her mother, who worked at a hospital, said, “No, you’re going to be a nurse.”

Hampton’s mother, a Black woman who began her career working in a hospital linen room, saw that non-white patients received different care than white patients did, a discrepancy we now call health care disparities.

“Those weren’t the buzzwords then, but my mother witnessed patients being treated differently,” Hampton told me. “I remember her coming home and telling me about it. …


Throughout pandemic, Stanford Medicine’s infection prevention team has risen to the challenges of COVID-19, ensuring the safety of staff and patients.

By Tracie White

Sasha Madison, an expert in infection prevention, has fought against the spread of disease in hospitals since 1978. She’s battled the AIDS epidemic and led teams through the H1N1 flu, the SARS epidemic and Ebola outbreak. So in early January of last year when the first reports of a new infectious disease out of China began to appear, the news set off alarm bells.

“I very much had a gut reaction that this was the big one,” said Madison, MPH, administrative director of Infection Prevention and Control at Stanford Health Care, the division responsible for preventing the…


Euan Ashley, professor of medicine and genetics, tells the stories of his patients with rare or mystery diseases through his new book, The Genome Odyssey.

By Hanae Armitage

Euan Ashley is a self-proclaimed Sherlock Holmes enthusiast. And given his love for (medical) mysteries, one could go so far as to say that Ashley, MB ChB, DPhil, and Holmes are kindred spirits of sorts.

A seeker of truth and acutely aware of fine details easily overlooked, Ashley’s Holmes-like nature manifests in the clinic, where he helps patients with rare, undiagnosed diseases find answers through their genome.

In his debut book, The Genome Odyssey: Medical Mysteries and the Incredible Quest to Solve Them: Ashley, professor of medicine, of genetics and of biomedical data science, brings a decade…


In response to the pandemic, one determined Stanford Medicine team built on its online expertise to reimagine palliative care learning.

By Jan DeNofrio

Last March, when it looked like medical students would not be able to complete an in-person palliative medicine clerkship, one of the clinical rotations offered during the final two years of medical school, Laura Lundi, who coordinates the program, had an idea.

Why not use Palliative Care Always, an online course offered through Stanford Online and recently launched on Coursera?

Since its inception in 2016, the online course has garnered a large global audience — at its launch, more than 3,712 people from 126 countries participated, and interest continues to grow.

Palliative Care Always was not designed…


This Voices of COVID story features Ricky Hansra, MD, who has found a way to reassure, empower, and advocate for patients’ families from a distance.

By Daphne Sashin

Each day, after Ricky Hansra, MD, visits his patients in intensive care, he settles in for another round of check-ins, which he’s grown accustomed to doing by phone. He reserves a couple of hours to call the family members of each of his 15 or so patients. They shouldn’t feel rushed, he thinks. He wants them to feel as if they’re at their loved one’s bedside, and he’s stopping in to say hello. Just like it was before COVID-19.

The first time he speaks with a family member, the medical updates can wait; first, Hansra wants to…


A program that trains barbers to coach Black men about their health and wellness helps bridge health equity gaps by tapping into built-in community bonds.

By Tracie White

Yusef Wright, who owns and runs a barbershop in downtown Oakland, does a lot more than just cut basketball star Stephen Curry’s hair. Wright is a leader, a voice for the local Black community, an entrepreneur, an activist, a family man and, for the past four years now, a health coach for many of his clients.

“There is a lot of talk about trust in a barbershop,” said Wright, who grew up in East Oakland and cuts and styles hair at his shop, Benny Adem Grooming Parlor, on 14 thStreet. “Outside of the church, it’s one of…


People who have their first colonoscopy between the age of 45 and 49 halve their risk of subsequent colorectal cancers, a Stanford Medicine study has found.

By Krista Conger

“You’re only as old as you feel” isn’t really applicable to routine medical screening, I’m finding (somewhat ruefully). Lately it seems that each birthday comes with a new, ever-more-fun, recommendation from my doctor.

Most recently we discussed colonoscopy. Although it’s probably safe to say that they aren’t anyone’s favorite experience, the procedure — in which a colonoscope is used to examine the rectum and colon for signs of cancer — can save lives by diagnosing and even preventing age-associated colon cancers through the removal of precancerous polyps. …


In this Voices of COVID story, Stanford Children’s Health physician Alan Schroeder, MD, talks about his work caring for kids with COVID-19 symptoms.

By Erin Digitale

In children, respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 are rare. Since the pandemic began, most of the children hospitalized at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford with the SARS-CoV-2 virus are asymptomatic and being treated for other medical problems.

But a few kids and teens have had COVID-19-related illness. Critical care physician Alan Schroeder, MD, has been on the frontlines, going above and beyond to ensure these kids return home safely.

I spoke with him recently as part of our Voices of COVID series to learn more.

How does your team in the pediatric intensive care unit help children who…

Stanford Medicine

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