• Oncologist Stephanie Smith, MD, MPH, studies barriers cancer survivors in the Salinas Valley face accessing follow-up care. Her research is possible because your gifts support the Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute.
  • Jacob’s Heart executive director Heidi Boynton invited Dr. Smith to attend the organization’s 25th anniversary gala in recognition of their ongoing collaboration and the impact Dr. Smith’s research will have on families served by Jacob’s Heart.


Researcher Spotlight: Stephanie Smith, MD, MPH

Megan Alpers-Raschefsky
Friday, March 17, 2023

Your support of the Childrenʼs Fund helped a Stanford researcher uncover unique challenges facing childhood and young adult cancer survivors in the Salinas Valley. The Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute uses Childrenʼs Fund gifts to fund its Structural Racism, Social Injustice and Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Health Pilot Grants.

In 2022, grant recipient and oncologist Stephanie Smith, MD, MPH, met with cancer survivors, their families, and leaders from the nonprofit Jacobʼs Heart, which provides vital services to families dealing with childhood cancer in the Salinas Valley.

Cancer survivors encounter lingering effects of their treatment on their physical and mental health, and Dr. Smithʼs research identified other challenges for many of these young people in the Salinas Valley. They include language barriers, lack of transportation to and from follow-up appointments, and a cultural stigma surrounding cancer. Understanding these additional hurdles can help organizations like Jacobʼs Heart provide the most comprehensive support for cancer survivors in their community.

Dr. Smith, whose passion is bridging the gap between clinical care and research, says she plans to continue to partner with Jacobʼs Heart, cancer survivors, and their families to brainstorm the best next steps and implement solutions. 

Your gifts help us study and address health disparities so all cancer survivors receive the ongoing support they need. Thank You!


This article originally appeared in the Spring 2023 Children’s Fund Update newsletter.


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