Patient Education In the Department of Medicine

Meet our Staff

What was eventually to become the Stanford Patient Education Research Center started in 1979 with one graduate student. Now we are 7 regular employees, including that first graduate student, Kate Lorig. At any one time, we may have 1 or 2 graduate or undergraduate students from universities around the world doing field work with us, as well as an occasional post doctoral or high school student. Former affiliates often work with us on special projects, such as Katy Plant MPH, Virginia (Ginger) González MPH, Bonnie Bruce RD DrPH, and Maurice (Maury) Green PhD.

Our Leader -
Kate Lorig, Dr.P.H.

Dr. Lorig's faculty profile

Kate Lorig is the Director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center and Professor of Medicine in the Stanford School of Medicine. She earned her bachelors degree in nursing at Boston University, and her masters and doctorate of public health (Dr.P.H.) in health education at the University of California, Berkeley. She came to Stanford in 1979 while a graduate student at Cal to develop and research an educational program that emphasized self-help skills for people with arthritis. This program became the Arthritis Self-Help Course and was the prototype for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, The Diabetes Self-Management Program, the Positive Self-Management Program for HIV/AIDS, the Cancer: Thriving and Surviving Program, the Building Better Caregiver's Program, Self-Management Program, and others. She has authored several books and many articles about arthritis, chronic disease in general, health education and behavioral science. She travels extensively at the invitation of organizations concerned with patient care and academic research.

Our Staff

Diana Laurent, M.P.H.

Diana also joined our staff in 1986 as a research assistant while she finished her M.P.H. in community health education at San Jose State University. Her "first life," as she calls it, was in rhetoric and communication at the University of California, Davis, many years before. Besides her work in health education, training and research, Diana is also our resident "computer nerd," which doesn't mean that she's a whiz at it, but simply that she likes it. Diana is the webmaster for this web site, manages several research projects and acts as a "surrogate Kate" when Dr. Lorig is away.

Philip Ritter, Ph.D.

Even though Phil retired recently, he still works as needed when we need data analysis or papers written. Phil joined us in 1993 as our first programmer/analyst. He has a bachelors degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned his masters degree and Ph.D. from Stanford in anthopology.

Audrey Alonis, M.B.A.

Audrey arrived in September 2010 to assist with our nationwide evaluation of the community Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. Her job changed as our needs changed, and she now coordinates the registration for our web-based training. Prior to coming to Stanford, she ran her own bookkeeping business for 20 years, so she is accustomed to a range of operational activities. She grew up in the suburbs of New York City and moved to California after earning bachelor's degrees in Economics and French from Middlebury College in Vermont. She also has an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University.

Maisoon Ayish

Maisoon joined us in June 2013 to assist with the Active Living with Chronic Conditions Tool Kit Study and the national diabetes study. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California. Her job is to screen participants for the studies, process the questionnaires, and anything else that comes up!

Mirna Rosas

Mirna was a leader for our Programa de Manejo Personal de la Artritis (Spanish-language Arthritis Self-Management Program) before she became a member of our staff. She came to the United States from Nicaragua in 1984. Mirna is our Spanish "voice", and also does a great deal of our nut-and-bolts research, licensing, and Master Trainer tasks.

Gloria Samuel

Gloria is the office administrator for our Center. Her job is to organize the rest of us. She coordinates all trainings for our programs, as well as program licensing. Kate says Gloria also keeps her "sane."

Our Mentor

Halsted Holman, M.D.

The Stanford Patient Education Research Center would not exist if Hal Holman hadn't brought that first graduate student, Kate Lorig, to Stanford to help him develop and test a patient education program for people with arthritis. He has been our mentor and friend ever since. Dr. Holman is a emeritus professor of medicine in rheumatology at Stanford, and a champion for patient-centered medicine and self-management.

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