New associate chief medical officer for practice innovation


Grace Lee, MD, has been named the new associate chief medical officer for practice innovation, effective September 1, 2017. She will work collaboratively with leaders in the institution to help improve clinical outcomes and operational efficiency and to promote the use of real-time data to drive improvement, thus supporting Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford’s goal of becoming a learning health system.

Lee earned her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997 and completed both her residency and fellowship, which were focused on pediatric infectious diseases, at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center. She also earned her Master of Public Health degree in clinical effectiveness from Harvard’s School of Public Health in 2002.

Originally from the Midwest, Lee has spent the past two decades in Boston holding various academic and hospital appointment positions, including faculty roles at Harvard University and staff appointments at Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and others. Her work was focused on vaccine safety surveillance, quality metric development, and policy evaluations of financial rewards and penalties on health outcomes.

Most recently, she was the director for the Center for Healthcare Research in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute (Department of Population Medicine) as well as the associate director of infection prevention and control and an associate hospital epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital.

In her new role as associate chief medical officer for practice innovation, Lee will apply the skills she’s learned in big data, analytics and systems-level approaches in order to directly improve health outcomes for patients in the Stanford health care system. She notes that her goal is to find ways to improve clinical outcomes and operational efficiency and come up with creative and disruptive ways to improve patient-centered care.

“As you’re caring for patients, [you should ask yourself,] ‘how can we improve upon the care we deliver?’” Lee explained. “Often the way we learn things is by looking back, but it’s really about using that real-time cycle to drive improvement.” Lee added that there are several ways she hopes to enhance patient care.

First, she will emphasize a patient-centered model, as opposed to the more traditional hospital-centered model. “In the old days, we used to be hospital focused,” Lee said. “I think it’s just recognizing that there is a continuum of care that we provide that crosses the inpatient and outpatient setting and thinking about other ways people might want to access health care.”

Second, she hopes to use evidence-based practices along with the hospital’s own data to drive decisions that will result in better health outcomes for patients. “By looking at it from a health systems perspective, as we’re doing things in the present we can continue to see the information we receive and use it to drive decision-making,” she said.

Lee is looking forward to working collaboratively with institutional leaders throughout the health system and the university toward accomplishing this goal. “It’s a very synergistic place to be,” she added.

Medicine runs strong her in family. Her father was a pediatrician, and both she and her sister ultimately pursued careers in pediatrics, as well. She credits her family’s influence and the consistent mentorship she received during her education and training with her success, and she hopes to continue the tradition of mentorship here at Stanford.

“During medical school, residency and fellowship, I was really fortunate to have had a series of outstanding mentors that led me to a career in population-based and health services research,” Lee said. “Probably the favorite part of my job so far has been helping junior faculty and staff find ways they can achieve their potential and advance their careers while working in an academic environment. I look forward to continuing to support a culture of mentorship within the Department of Pediatrics,” she added.

Thanks to her experience serving on several boards and committees, including the National Academies of Medicine Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Lee has had the opportunity to learn from colleagues about how they improve the health of the populations they serve. “I hope to translate these ideas into practice here,” she concluded.


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