Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community

Fall 2011

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Stanford Medicine Newsletter is published by the communications group at Stanford University Medical Center. To subscribe to the print version, send your name and address to:


 Stanford Hospital’s kitchens were renovated, and new chefs were hired to accommodate the new system of custom-preparing all meals for patients.

New food program provides custom service, healthy choices

Breakfast at 11 am? Not a problem. Peanut butter with sourdough toast? Not a problem. Want to order your next day’s meals to arrive at a specific time? That’s fine, too. As with room service at a hotel, just about any food now can be delivered between 7 am and 8 pm to patients at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital through a new program called At Your Request. Read Story »

Did you know?

About 20 percent of the oxygen you breathe goes to your brain.


Sound Bites

“Before the current notion of PTSD, we tended to think that those who developed it were people with character disorders—there was a sort of ‘blame the victim’ quality to our thinking.”

David Spiegel, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, on how the abundance of 9/11 sufferers has prompted psychiatrists to broaden their criteria for diagnosing the disorder.

Los Angeles Times, Sept. 5

“Take a risk, step into the unknown. Don’t be afraid to fail. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and had plenty of disappointments.”

Wendeye Robbins, MD, clinical instructor of anesthesia, advises new entrepreneurs as a growing number of physicians head to business school.

New York Times, Sept. 6

“Many neurological diseases that I treat are considered hopeless by patients and families and physicians. Until recently, we didn’t have any chance of recovering function. This is, in many ways, initiating a new era.”

Gary Steinberg, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery, regarding a landmark clinical trial using stem cells to treat spinal cord injury.

SF Chronicle, Sept. 21

“We are able to look at the master blueprint of a microbe. It is like being given the operating manual for your car after you have been trying to troubleshoot a problem with it for some time.”

David Relman, MD, professor of infectious diseases, on how bacterial genome sequencing is revolutionizing the field of microbiology.

New York Times, Aug. 30

New insights into the environmental influences of autism

Autism research has focused heavily on the possible genetic roots of the condition. But a new Stanford School of Medicine study of twins suggests that environmental factors play an unexpectedly large role in determining autism risk. The study — the largest ever of twins in which at least one twin in each pair had autism — represents a significant shift in scientists’ understanding of the potential cause of this common developmental disorder. Read Story »

Hoover Pavilion

Eighty years ago, Palo Alto Hospital opened its doors to its first patients and soon became a major care provider for the growing communities on the Peninsula. Many local women today look back fondly on the “good old hospital,” now known as the Hoover Pavilion, where they experienced some of the most miraculous moments of their lives. Read Story »

Community collaborations

It’s just a third of a mile from the East Palo Alto farmers’ market to Runnymede Garden Apartments—the city’s only housing facility for seniors and adults with disabilities—but to the building’s residents, it might as well be a trek up Mount Everest. Read Story »

Mobile medicine

In its 15 years of delivering health care to disadvantaged Bay Area youth, the Packard Children’s Adolescent Health Van has become a safe haven for more than 3,500 impoverished young people. The van, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in September, provides high-risk youth with free, confidential help in a welcoming setting. Read Story »

Making headway on headaches

Miriam Edelman spent the last 32 years of her life fighting one serious migraine after another. And she tried over and over again to stop the pain. “I’ve had many things done to my body, including IV medication drips,” she said. “I did biofeedback. I avoid the sun. I have ice packs. I’ve been on a horrible path of doctors.” Read Story »

Classroom catch-up for expectant grandparents

Weeks before the birth of their first grandchild, Bill and Ann Stark of Los Altos Hills found themselves making their own trip to the hospital, one they hadn’t anticipated. “We found out that my son’s mother-in-law had signed up for a class called Becoming Grandparents at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. She was so excited, so we signed up, too—the pressure of a fellow grandparent!” Ann Stark laughed. Read Story »

Study finds an objective way to measure pain

Stanford School of Medicine researchers have taken a first step toward developing a diagnostic tool that tracks patterns of brain activity to detect whether someone is in pain. More »


Health Library branches out

The Stanford Hospital Health Library opened its newest branch in East Palo Alto’s Ravenswood Family Health Center. More »


Stanford Hospital, Packard Children’s receive top rankings

Both Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital have been named top hospitals in the nation and the region by U.S. News & World Report. More »


Biomedical blog posts news and insights

Updates on the newest discoveries at Stanford and commentary on public health issues are among the news and conversation available from Scope, an award-winning blog. More »



Find out more about the events taking place at Stanford. More »


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