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Health Equity

Breaking Down Barriers to Health

All children and families deserve the chance to reach their full potential. Yet, many systemic barriers and inequities exist—and the gap widens for kids and moms with complex health needs.

A child’s race, socioeconomic status, and other characteristics should not affect their access to crucial resources, yet some children historically have had less access, and worse health outcomes, than others. The multidisciplinary team at Stanford has the knowledge, creativity, and drive to help more kids and families reach their health potential—with your support.

Boy runs down ramp of a medical transportation van

of patient families rely on public insurance


invested in financial assistance and charity care in 2022


patient families assisted by the hospital with local lodging in 2022

“Health equity is arguably the most urgent challenge we face in health care and biomedicine today. And while we see its deleterious effects everywhere, the disparities in maternal and child health are the most egregious.”

Lloyd B. Minor, MD, Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the Stanford School of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs at Stanford University

Dr. Lisa Chamberlain directs the Office of Child Health Equity (OCHE) and has devoted her career to eliminating disparities in child health. She knows that improving health at the population level can improve health for children everywhere.

Dr. Baraka Floyd has a distinguished track record of community engagement, mentorship, and scholarship in health disparities. She is a champion for initiatives that reduce health inequities. Among her many accomplishments is the creation of resources and protocols to incorporate social determinants of health into patient screenings.

Dr. Anisha Patel is passionate about using research to discover solutions to inequities in childhood health. Philanthropy has fueled her research showing that making fresh drinking water accessible in schools improves childhood health, as well as a study looking to address food insecurity through school meal programs.

Kimberly Browne, LCSW, ACM-SW, ACSW, executive director of patient and family services, leads the teams that connect patient families with targeted support—like stable housing, food assistance, and language access—so nothing gets in the way of their health.

Young cancer patient with parents

Cancer Warrior Princess

Marlee-Jo’s family could focus on her cancer treatment because they had an experienced social worker ensuring that all of their needs were met.

Addressing Inequity for Children and Families

Our Foundation’s unique approach to health equity—extraordinary care and support for individual kids and families, combined with work to transform health policy and systems of care—sets us apart. Our efforts are designed with those who have the most acute needs in mind and are bolstered by rigorous research—through entities such as the Maternal and Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI)—to understand and address inequity and develop science-backed solutions.

We have already made a significant impact, but there is much more work to be done.

Advancing Health Equity Initiatives

Office of Child Health Equity

The Office of Child Health Equity (OCHE) is co-directed by Drs. Lisa Chamberlain and Janine Bruce, whose community partnerships span nearly 20 years. They bring innovative solutions to childhood hunger (240,000 meals last summer), diaper insecurity (540,000 distributed), and early childhood learning (8,000 books distributed). 

Health Equity Advanced through Learning Initiative

Co-directed by Drs. Baraka Floyd and Allison Guerin, the Health Equity Advanced through Learning (HEAL) Initiative focuses on health equity training and educational opportunities for providers.

California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative

Stanford experts drive research and share their knowledge and care recommendations through the Stanford-based California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), so hospitals throughout California and nationwide can apply what they’ve learned. Their mission is to end preventable morbidity, mortality, and racial disparities in caring for expectant moms and infants.

Boy in a wheelchair at a playground

This Is the Place to Invest

Your generosity will help us advance health equity, especially for people with the most acute needs.

Make an Impact

Pediatric Cancer

Support exceptional care, clinical trials, and pathways to cures

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Mothers & Babies

Advance care for high-risk moms and babies—and for all families.

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Children’s Heart Disease

Grow programs and pursue cures for pediatric heart disease.

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More Giving Opportunities

Learn how you can directly impact children’s lives.

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Help All Kids and Families Reach Their Full Health Potential

Carolyn Otis Catanzaro, Vice President, Fundraising Strategy and Campaigns