First Diversity Week at Stanford Medicine tackles tough topics in medical education, health care | News Center

People are a composite of many interconnected identities, Lassiter said, and taking an “intersectional” point of view is helpful in assessing how diverse, equitable and inclusive a workplace is. As an example, Lassiter described a case study of a particular organization that touted the number of women and people of color in their workforce. 

 The “statistics sound great on the surface, but … when we look at the data from an intersectional perspective, we see that the women in the organization are mostly white women, and the largest group of men in their organization is white men,” Lassiter said. 

 “When organizations say, ‘We’ve increased our numbers of women,’ who are those women?” Lassiter said. Similarly, when groups claim, “’We’ve increased our numbers of people of color,’ who’s included in [their definition of] people of color?” These are the questions that the framework of intersectionality helps us address, Lassiter said.

Diversity, equity and inclusion in medical education

We have to be willing to employ the same kind of rigor we apply to studies of science and medicine to efforts designed to eliminate bias and racism and promote diversity and inclusion, several speakers said.

In 2017, a 10-month program called Leadership, Education and Advancing Diversity, or LEAD, was created to pair Stanford Medicine residents and fellows with mentors who are Stanford Medicine faculty or educational administrators. 

“I had no idea how impactful this work would be,” Carmin Powell, MD, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics, told attendees at the Diversity and Inclusion Forum on Oct. 9. Powell co-directs LEAD with Lahia Yemane, MD. 

Every month, LEAD’s participants take part in discussion-based lectures on various topics related to equity, diversity and inclusion. They also work with their mentors to develop a presentation to deliver at the annual Diversity and Inclusion Forum.

 In just four years, LEAD has tripled in size, growing from 30 scholars and mentors to more than 100, Powell said. Part of the program’s success is its engagement with medical residents and fellows early in their careers, making equity, diversity and inclusion a part of their training.

Knowledge is key

Educating yourself on the history of racism and how to foster diversity and inclusion is essential, said Marc Nivet, executive vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and keynote speaker at this year’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum.

“If you get nothing else out of today’s talk, I would just implore you to read and to get educated,” Nivet said. 

“You can no longer be an effective leader, period — not just in academic medicine — but period, without being much more elevated in your ability to understand these issues,” he said. “And that comes from reading and learning.”

Learning, trying new things and sharing what does — and doesn’t— work is important for progress, Nivet explained. “I think we don’t share the results of failure, which is typical in academic medicine. We don’t get points for writing about failures or initiatives that didn’t work and why

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Stanford Medicine begins enrolling for COVID-19 vaccine trial | News Center

Stanford Medicine has joined a large, Phase 3 clinical trial of an experimental vaccine against COVID-19.

The trial will test whether the vaccine, which is produced by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, protects people from the disease. It will enroll some 60,000 people at about 180 sites around the world. The Stanford site is expected to enroll about 1,000 participants.  

Participants will receive either the vaccine or a placebo, and their health and immune responses will be monitored for about one year after their initial visits. If any participants become ill with symptoms of COVID-19, a health care provider will go to their homes to assess their health and collect a nasal sample to test for the presence of the novel coronavirus. If they are infected, Stanford physicians will monitor their disease progression. 

“We’re enrolling a wide variety of participants, but we are particularly interested in those who feel like their home or workplace exposure puts them at risk,” said Philip Grant, MD, assistant professor of medicine and the trial’s principal investigator at Stanford. “Teachers, grocery store workers, people who live in multigenerational households, health care workers and students on campus would all be good candidates for participation.”

Participants will be followed for two years and one month. They are expected to visit the trial site eight times: six in the first year and two in the second year. The initial visit will last about two hours; subsequent visits will consist of a short blood draw and symptom screening. If a participant develops COVID-19 during the study period, additional visits may be required.

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Recover, Restore and Re-open: A Stanford Medicine framework for bouncing back from pandemic | News Center

Last spring, as office buildings emptied and local governments ordered residents to shelter in place, Stanford Medicine faculty members and executives sprang into action to understand more about the mysterious new coronavirus.

Even in the early months of the pandemic, it was clear that a return to normal — bringing students back to classrooms, workers back to offices and travelers back to airlines — would take complex and scientifically grounded policies and guidance.

Now, Stanford Medicine has launched a website to advise various segments of society on getting back to healthy functioning. The effort is called Recover, Restore and Re-open, or R3.

“Our experts’ immediate and steadfast response to the pandemic has built a valuable resource that we feel is imperative to share with the broader community,” said Priya Singh, chief strategy officer and senior associate dean for strategy and communications at Stanford Medicine. “We see the R3 framework as a collection of resources that community members — whether you’re from academia, industry or government, or you’re an individual — can use to inform and guide how they adapt to the uncertainties wrought by COVID-19.”

At the onset of the pandemic, experts from the School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, Stanford Children’s Health, University HealthCare Alliance and Stanford University began building a framework for broad-based recovery. The group considered the needs of the community, such as developing a strategy for expanded coronavirus testing and building a public health surveillance system to track new cases, and used lessons learned from Stanford’s hospitals to inform preparedness for future inevitabilities, such as a surge in cases and a lack of personal protective equipment.

The R3 framework, which was commissioned by Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine; David Entwistle, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care; and Paul King, president and CEO of Stanford Children’s Health, is powered by more than a dozen Stanford Medicine faculty and leaders. Along with Singh, Bob Harrington, MD, professor and chair of medicine; Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE, professor and chair of pediatrics; and Catherine Krna, MBA, president and CEO of the University HealthCare Alliance, led the R3 committee. Based on the committee’s expertise, the framework is a culmination of the lessons learned while delivering patient care, conducting research and forming policy recommendations as the pandemic evolved.

“Our success in responding so quickly at the beginning of the pandemic was, in part, due to the alignment between the School of Medicine and the clinical enterprises, Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health,” Krna said. “We would not have been as successful if it weren’t for the joint accountability of our faculty and clinicians and the staff who work with them to care for our patients.”

Guiding current and future response

The R3 framework is a guide to making policy, conducting research and developing treatments, among other things. It’s both a resource for helping communities deal with the pandemic and recover from it. For example, it offers recommendations for protecting vulnerable populations from the virus and safely

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Stanford faculty demand university sanctions for Trump adviser and faculty member Scott Atlas

Scott Atlas; Donald Trump
Scott Atlas; Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump (L) listens to White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas speak during a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on September 23, 2020, in Washington, DC. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

This article originally appeared here on Salon.com

Scott Atlas, one of President Trump’s special coronavirus advisers and a faculty member at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, Calif., is causing a minor fracas among students and faculty at the elite university. Specifically, Atlas’ recommendations on coronavirus public health measures fly in the face of scientific consensus, faculty says — a charge that Atlas denies, and which he has threatened litigation over.  

During a Faculty Senate meeting at Stanford University late last month, the college’s president and provost were asked whether Dr. Scott Atlas should face university sanctions for positions he has taken about the novel coronavirus pandemic that go against the scientific consensus. (As the faculty noted, Atlas is a neuroradiologist, not an epidemiologist or a scholar of infectious disease.) At the meeting, similar questions were raised about the university’s relationship with the Hoover Institution, where Atlas is a senior fellow. The Hoover Institution is a conservative think tank located on Stanford’s campus that has supported a laundry list of prominent right-wing statesmen over the years, from Condoleezza Rice to Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz. 

Unsurprisingly given the politics of his employer, Atlas’ public statements tend to delight conservatives and alarm scientists who study public health and infectious diseases. Atlas recently tweeted that masks do not work to prevent infection (an unsupported claim, and one which Twitter wound up taking down for being misleading); previously, he claimed publicly that the threat of the coronavirus is greatly exaggerated. Atlas also claimed that summer civil rights protests were to blame for coronavirus outbreaks, as well as proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, two more claims for which there is no evidence.

Despite being described by Trump as “one of the great experts of the world,” Atlas is reported to not have expertise in infectious disease mitigation or public health. Most recently, Atlas raised eyebrows last week for appearing on Russian state broadcaster RT, which is registered with the Justice Department as an agent of the Russian government.

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David Spiegel, a medicine professor and associate chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, claimed during the late October meeting (which occurred before the RT interview) that Atlas is the “latest member of the Hoover Institution to disseminate incorrect and unscientific information about the coronavirus pandemic,” according to Stanford News. He also accused Atlas of violating the American Medical Association’s Code of Ethics and claimed that he may have additionally violated Stanford’s Code of Conduct.

University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne responded by citing the college’s Statement on Academic Freedom, although the provost acknowledged the validity of engineering professor Stephen Monismith’s concern about a New York Times report that some of Trump’s senior economic advisers had

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Stanford Medicine launches home COVID-19 testing study covering greater San Francisco

Stanford University and its school of medicine have launched plans to survey the population of greater San Francisco for COVID-19, in an effort to build an early warning system for future outbreaks.

Using a combination of self-collection testing kits and online reporting, the Community Alliance to Test Coronavirus at Home, or CATCH Study, aims to estimate the true prevalence of the disease among the 8.5 million people living in the Bay Area.

Ultimately, the study hopes to scale up a diagnostic infrastructure that can provide fast remote testing to a broad and representative sample of the population, including among the underserved and vulnerable across 12 counties. 

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The program is currently seeking to enroll participants, who will report their exposures and symptoms daily through an online portal. 

RELATED: Stanford team deploys CRISPR gene editing to fight COVID-19

Home test kits—developed in collaboration with the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, which is also helping to fund the study—will be delivered through the mail within 24 hours at no cost, and will contain a gentle nasal swab for self-collection. Samples will then be processed at Stanford’s laboratories.

“Our main objective is to learn where and how the virus is spreading—whether people are displaying symptoms or not—and which communities are most vulnerable,” said co-lead researcher Yvonne Maldonado, an associate professor of health research and policy at Stanford Medicine. 

“These insights will help our scientists and local public officials gain a deeper understanding of the distribution of COVID-19 throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area so that they can stop its spread,” Maldonado said.

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Stanford Medicine magazine reports on COVID-19 | News Center

The new issue of Stanford Medicine magazine features a special report on the COVID-19 pandemic, including perspectives from national public health leaders and articles about the response at Stanford Medicine, where health care workers, researchers, students and administrative staff have mobilized to subdue the virus in the local community and beyond.  

Among the voices in the issue are Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Sara Cody, MD, who as the health officer for Santa Clara County, California, ordered the first U.S. lockdown in response to the virus.

Articles in the issue take readers back to the beginning of the pandemic, when Stanford Health Care was bracing for a potential surge of terribly ill, highly infectious patients for whom no established treatments were available. The Stanford Medicine community came together — in person and virtually — to research treatment protocols and seek solutions, and became one of the first U.S. academic medical centers to develop a COVID-19 test for active infections.  

It’s hard to feel optimistic during this crisis, but that’s the outlook of Yvonne Maldonado, MD, a doctor at the heart of Stanford Medicine’s response to COVID-19, who is profiled in this issue and featured in a podcast and video. An epidemiologist who began her career battling AIDS in the early years of the epidemic, Maldonado has been a key adviser on clinical operations and research efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, working 14-18 hour days since the U.S. outbreak. Though Maldonado, chief of infection prevention and control at Stanford Children’s Health, spends many of those hours guiding policy and research, she continues to treat patients and is leading many research projects of her own. 

Several months into the crisis, her attitude remained upbeat. “I was always hopeful, and I still have hope,” she said. “We can conquer this disease. We’ve conquered other diseases like this or worse.”

The issue also includes:

-A recounting of Stanford Medicine’s response to the virus, involving a prescient decision to stockpile personal protective equipment such as masks, a modeling group dedicated to charting the pandemic’s trajectory, an early drive-through testing option, the ad hoc creation of a company to design and print face masks, and a compilation of best-practices guidelines, shared online, for treating COVID-19 patients. 

-A sampler of the hundreds of projects being conducted by Stanford researchers to arrest the pandemic, from CRISPR-based therapeutic nasal spray to genetic studies zeroing in on who’s most at risk for the disease.

-A Q&A with Fauci, one of the nation’s most trusted sources of information about the pandemic, in which he talks with the medical school’s dean, Lloyd Minor, MD, about how we can beat COVID-19 and face down future pandemics. A video of the conversation is also available.

-A Q&A with Cody on the heartbreak of fighting COVID-19 in the Bay Area and what keeps her going (online only).

-A primer on viruses, focusing on SARS CoV-2 and ways scientists are trying to thwart it.  

-A hair-raising

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Stanford Medicine Launches Study Of Greater San Francisco Bay Area Using Safe, Convenient COVID-19 Testing From Home

STANFORD, Calif., Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Stanford University School of Medicine today announced the launch of the Community Alliance to Test Coronavirus at Home (CATCH) Study, an effort that seeks to estimate the true population prevalence of COVID-19 across the 8.5 million population of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and ultimately aid in the effort to reopen schools, workplaces and communities.

The CATCH Study is now seeking participants. A key aim of the CATCH Study is to scale a simple, safe, convenient, and population-scale early diagnostic system to help stop further undetected spread of COVID-19. CATCH utilizes online surveys and home delivered self-collection kits that are able to be rapidly deployed to carry out remote testing in a broad and representative sample of the population, including those underserved and vulnerable populations that might otherwise not be reached or tested. The study is enabled by the Vera Cloud Testing Platform including its novel Vera Home Test Kit, a gentle nasal swab self-collection kit that can be delivered directly to the homes of study participants by existing couriers and package delivery services.

There is no cost to CATCH Study participation, and all residents in the San Francisco Bay Area are welcome to enroll. Every participant joins online, reports their symptoms and exposures to COVID-19 daily, and may also be offered a home test kit at no cost upon reporting. If accepted, within 24 hours a home test kit will be delivered safely and conveniently by express courier to their home, where they can self-collect a sample, which is then delivered to the Stanford Health Care laboratory and tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection. All tested participants are informed of their results privately and securely online via their personal password-protected account within the CATCH website. The unique approach removes any requirement to leave home or shelter-in-place. 

The study is being led by Stanford Medicine researchers Yvonne Maldonado, MD, professor of pediatric infectious diseases and of health research and policy, Lorene Nelson, MD, associate professor of health research and policy, as well as Dr. Stephen Quake, professor of bioengineering and of applied physics and co-president of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.

“We encourage as many Bay Area residents as possible to sign-up for the CATCH Study to help increase our knowledge of a virus that has had significant impacts on our communities,” said Dr. Maldonado. “Our main objective is to learn where and how the virus is spreading — whether people are displaying symptoms or not — and which communities are most vulnerable. These insights will help our scientists and local public officials gain a deeper understanding of the distribution of COVID-19 throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area so that they can stop its spread.”

With the effects of COVID-19 disproportionately affecting minority and vulnerable communities throughout the country, and specifically in the Bay Area, one of the key intentions of the study is to address inequities in testing by researching underserved populations. The testing kits will provide

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