April 2 marked the 10th anniversary of the Stanford Children’s Health network, the only health care network in the San Francisco Bay Area—and one of the few in the country—exclusively dedicated to pediatric and obstetric care. This milestone presents a special opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the last 10 years, as well as glimpse the future of the network.
Stanford Children’s Health provides access to some of the best minds in medicine through family-centered general pediatric and obstetric care, expert pediatric specialty services, and one of the top-ranked children’s hospitals in the nation: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Since its inception, the network has had over 2.3 million patient visits, and physicians have treated over 100K patients each year.
“I’ve worked with great teams at leading health care systems across the country, but my five months here have been the most inspiring. Caring for children is among the highest callings we can have, and our expansive practices have made quality care accessible to families throughout the Bay Area,” said Chantal Volel-Torres, senior vice present, chief administrative officer of Faculty Practices and CEO of Packard Children’s Health Alliance.
While the Stanford reputation helps attract the best doctors in the area, the organization takes on the administrative burden that comes along with a medical practice, leaving the doctors free to focus on their patients and enhancing their medical skills.
These benefits were part of the reason the founding practice of the network, Stanford Medicine Women’s Health – Palo Alto, led by Jagdip Powar, MD, chose to join in 2012. Dr. Powar has served as a highly respected medical doctor specializing in OB/GYN in Palo Alto for over 40 years and has delivered thousands of babies to families on the Peninsula, South Bay, and beyond.
“When we take care of our patients, we try to see them all the way through, from day one of pregnancy to the time they deliver and beyond. … It’s a very personalized approach,” he said. “For example, somebody that I delivered 36 years ago came in for her first OB visit recently. It was so special to see her come in with her pregnancy because she was very excited to be back with the doctor who delivered her.”
According to Dr. Powar, the Stanford Children’s Health system supports his ability to provide concierge-level care to mothers within the network. He can care for mothers in complicated or high-risk situations as well as typical pregnancies, due to integration with a perinatology group at Stanford. “We’re fortunate to be in this teaching hospital when it comes to high-risk pregnancies. We recognize things early. We have support of the organization to handle them,” he said.
Stanford Children’s Health’s academic affiliation with Stanford Medicine and Stanford University allows the provider network to offer experts in every pediatric specialty and unparalleled access to groundbreaking advances and new discoveries. According to Chief Operating Officer Rick Vance, the care network is built on an integrated approach that merges a core of general pediatricians with seamless access to specialized and/or acute care when needed.
“If our general physicians discover a condition that needs a specialist, they can refer to one within our network, and if that specialist determines that they need a subspecialist … we are able to offer highly specialized services because of our link to the faculty,” he explained. “We are a research and education foundation, so we have a responsibility to provide community education as well as participate in research. We have a research committee that works with Stanford regarding any research studies to which we can refer patients.”
Over the years, the Stanford Children’s Health network has seen remarkable growth, with 200 providers, more than 65 pediatric and specialty locations across the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey, and more than 15 strategic hospital partnerships, all devoted to providing extraordinary pediatric care.
What makes the Stanford Children’s Health network unique is the dedication and commitment to Bay Area families: in particular, the deliberate concentration on expanding the health care network to include doctors within (roughly) 10 miles of most Bay Area families—from the North Bay down the Peninsula to Monterey and across the East Bay.
Keeping wellness at the core of the organization is essential to Stanford Children’s Health, according to Vance. And that commitment to wellness extends to everyone in the community, whether or not they are a patient.
“Our physicians participate in ongoing community education programs within their own community,” he said. “We’ve established long-term relationships with schools and other places where we can teach children about health-related topics, whether that’s COVID, diabetes, obesity, or other conditions in our communities that we want to help children avoid or improve their health if they do find themselves with those conditions.”
The Stanford Children’s Health network has made accessing world-class general pediatric, specialty, and obstetric care easier than ever for families throughout the Bay Area and beyond. As the network continues its strategic growth, Stanford Children’s Health remains committed to delivering on its promise to bring world-renowned Stanford expertise and innovation for years to come.