Learn with us.

Ambassadors hosts exclusive, intimate educational discussions led by world-class physicians at Stanford that dissect prevalent topics in children’s health.


Previous coffee talks:

Food Allergies
Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD – Tuesday, May 7, 2019 | 6:30-8:00 pm

Dr. Kari Nadeau is one of the nation’s foremost experts in adult and pediatric allergy and asthma. She is the Director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University and is an endowed professor under the Naddisy Family Foundation. Her medical research and clinical practice, in addition to her accomplishments in drug development in the biotech industry, have given her the tools to manage the complex web of asthma and allergy research.

Depression and Anxiety in Children
Mari Kurahashi, MD, MPH – Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | 9:25-10:30am

Dr. Kurahashi is a board certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. She has expertise in psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. At Stanford University School of Medicine, she is a clinical psychiatrist in the General Clinic and the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Clinic and serves as Director of the ADHD/Disruptive Behavior Clinic.

Skin Safety
Derek Chu, MD – Thursday, March 7, 2018 | 9:25-10:30 am

Dr. Derek H. Chu joined the Stanford faculty in October 2016 as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology. Dr. Chu's clinical and professional interests encompass a wide array of topics within pediatric dermatology, including vascular tumors and malformations, inflammatory skin diseases, dermato-oncology, neonatal dermatology, and procedural dermatology.

Vaping: Drug Awareness and Prevention
Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, MD, PhD – Wednesday, January 16, 2018 | 9:25-10:30 am

Dr. Halpern-Felsher is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on understanding and reducing adolescent and young adult substance use (including tobacco, electronic cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana), risky sexual behavior, and risky driving. Her research spans several age groups, including children, adolescents, young adults and parents. Dr. Halpern-Felsher’s research and committee work have been instrumental in setting policy at the local, state, and national level; and she contributed to the 2012 Surgeon General Report,"Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults.”

Healthy Gut
Dr. Erica Sonnenburg, PhD:  Tuesday, October 24, 2017                                                                                                      We are excited to kick off our Educational Coffee Talks on Tuesday, October 24th with Dr. Erica Sonnenburg, PhD. Dr. Sonnenburg is currently a top research scientist at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, where she studies the role of diet on the human intestinal microbiota. She coauthored The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health with her husband, Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, PhD.  Please refer to the following link for an interesting article on the Sonnenburgs:  http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/04/sonnenburg-family-stomach-bacteria.html.

Navigating through childhood changes and current events
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
This topic focused on anxieties that can accompany life transitions and current events. The speaker highlighted tips for how to effectively help your child and family with these sensitive issues. Our speaker also touched on ways to translate and explain current events to our children.

Helping your child rest easy: the Pediatric Sleep Center
Sumit Bhargava, MD: Wednesday March 8, 2017
Sumit Bhargava, MD is a clinical associate professor of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital who specializes in understanding sleep disorders effecting children. Dr. Bhargave is a key part of the team at Lucile Packard's Pediatric Sleep Center, a clinic leading the way in sleep studies in children. Dr. Bhargava gave an overview on pediatric sleep research and will highlight the services available at the Pediatric Sleep Center. 

Stem cell therapies and cord blood banking
Matthew Porteus, MD, PhD: Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Matthew Porteus, MD, PhD, is an associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine in the department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine and a practicing clinician at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. Dr. Porteus is renowned in his field for being one of the first to demonstrate that human cells can be corrected through gene therapies. Additionally, Dr. Porteus manages Lucile Packard's Cord Blood Bank. He discussed his research in gene therapies and resulting implications for curing childhood diseases as well as his work with cord blood banking. 

What parents should know about Zika and other pediatric infectious diseases Evolutionary Secrets
Desiree LaBeaud, MD, MS: Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Desiree LaBeaud, MD, MS is an expert in her field of infectious disease focusing her efforts on understanding the risk factors and long-term health consequences of arboviral infections, including Zika. Dr. LaBeaud addressed parenting concerns surrounding pediatric infectious diseases and her current research at Stanford University.  

Evolutionary Secrets Inside Children's Brains
November 4, 2014
Members enjoyed a presentation and discussion led by Dr. Yun. Dr Yun is President of Palo Alto Investors, a $1.6 billion hedge fund where he has been investing in healthcare since 1998. He received his B.A. from Harvard and his M.D. from Duke. He is bard certified in radiology and completed his residency and fellowship at Stanford, where he served on the clinical staff from 2000 to 2006. Dr. Yun is a contributor to various magazines on topics such as investing, evolution, and healthcare. Recently, he donated the $1 million Palo Alto Prize to nurture revolutionary science aimed at ending aging (www.paloaltoprize.org). 

Immunizations and Infectious Diseases
December 10, 2014
Members participated in a discussion with Dr. Maldonado. After graduation from Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Maldonado also completed training as an Epidemiologic Intelligence Surveillance Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has led a number of NIH, CDC, Gates Foundation and WHO funded domestic and international pediatric vaccine studies, as well as studies in prevention and treatment of perinatal HIV infection in the US, India, Mexico and Africa. She is Vice Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, and as a member of the Infectious Diseases of America, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and the American Public Health Association.

Children and Sleep
January 14, 2015
Members participated in a discussion with Dr. Yuan. Dr. Yuan has practiced at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford in the field of Pediatric Pulmonology and Cystic Fibrosis, as well as Pediatric Sleep Disorders, since 2003. Her research interests are focused on sleep disorders in the pediatric population and pulmonology complications. She graduated from Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Sports-Related Head Injuries in Children
Wednesday, February 25 , 2015
Dr. Paul Graham Fisher led a discussion on sports-related head-injuries in children. Dr. Fisher received his B.S. from Stanford University, M.D. from UCSF School of Medicine, and completed residences in pediatrics and neurology and a fellowship in neuro-oncology at Johns Hopkins University. In 1997, he was recruited back to Stanford, where he started and now directs the pediatric neuro-oncology program at Stanford University. He is an editorial board member of Journal of Neuro-Oncology and Frontiers in Pediatric Oncology, and is a member of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, Children's Oncology Group, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Society for Neuro-Oncology, and Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium. 

The Cuddlers
March, 18 2015
Claire Fitzgerald and Pat Rice are both licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.  Claire had a private practice in Silicon Valley where she started a Family Institute.  She had the opportunity to teach abroad and gain experience with people in diverse cultures.  Pat earned his PhD working with Dr. Carl Rogers, the founder of Person Centered Counseling.  For the past 17 years Pat and Claire have been hired by Stanford to provide pre-marriage counseling to couples being married at Memorial Church.  Their special passion has been volunteering at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford for 17 years cuddling babies in the Intensive Care nurseries. They were recently featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer in a piece about the hospital’s Cuddling program.