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Lee M. Sanders

Lee M. Sanders, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Stanford University
117 Encina Commons
Stanford, CA 94305-6019

(650) 723-1919 (fax)


Dr. Lee Sanders is a general pediatrician and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at theStanfordUniversity, with a joint appointment in the Center for Health Policy and Primary Care Outcomes Research. 

An author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, Dr. Sanders is a nationally recognized scholar in the field of health literacy.  Dr. Sanders was named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar for his leadership on the role of maternal health literacy and English-language proficiency in addressing child health disparities.  Aiming to make the US health system more navigable for the one in 4 families with limited health literacy, he has served as an advisor to the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academic Pediatric Association, and the American Cancer Society.  To better understand how maternal health literacy moderates child health outcomes, he is working with the National Children’s Study to integrate measures of health literacy and other social determinants into a large, national longitudinal study of child health.  Dr. Sanders is also principal investigator on an NIH-funded study to assess the efficacy of a low-literacy, early-childhood intervention designed to prevent obesity in the first two years of life.  The aim of his current scholarship is to apply the health-literacy model to improve community-based care coordination for children with special health care needs.  Always working with families in under-resourced neighborhoods, research settings for his work include state and regional health departments, primary-care clinics, WIC offices and child-care centers.  The focus of Dr. Sanders’ work, however, remains the same:  responding to parents’ perspectives with innovative solutions to attenuating child health disparities.

Dr. Sanders received a BA in History and Science fromHarvardUniversity, an MD fromStanfordUniversity, and a MPH from theUniversityofCalifornia,Berkeley.  Between 2006 and 2011, Dr. Sanders served as Medical Director of Children’s Medical Services South Florida, aFloridastate agency that coordinates care for more than 10,000 low-income children with special health care needs.  He was also Medical Director for Reach Out and Read Florida, a pediatric-clinic-based program that provides books and early-literacy promotion to more than 200,000 underserved children.  At theUniversityofMiami, Dr. Sanders directed theJayWeissCenterfor Social Medicine and Health Equity, which fosters a scholarly community committed to addressing global health inequities through community-based participatory research.

Fluent in Spanish and serving a diverse population of patients, Dr. Sanders’ clinical interests include the care of complex chronic conditions, behavioral health, and obesity prevention.  Dr. Sanders is also the father of two daughters, aged 8 and 11 years, who make sure he practices talking less and listening more.