Meet the Expert

The Office of Research PCS is excited to announce our new Executive Director of Research, Michelle Y. Williams, Ph.D., R.N.

Meet the Expert – Michelle Williams, Ph.D, R.N.

My name is Michelle Y. Williams. I’m the new Executive Director at Stanford Health Care, Office of Research, Patient Care Services. I earned my doctorate degree in nursing science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM) in 2019. My dissertation research consisted of a secondary analysis of the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program national study (2010), which was led by Dr. Kate Lorig, Professor Emeritus, Medicine, Stanford University, and her colleagues. Dr. Lorig served as my sponsor, during my pre-doctoral studies at Stanford University (2014-2018), and later as a member of my UWM doctoral dissertation committee.

Previously, I worked at Kaiser Permanente (KP) (1990-2019), where I served in a variety of nursing, management, and executive level roles, including: national nursing director of technology research and innovation (a member of the national innovation & advanced technology team-reporting directly to Marilyn P. Chow, formerly Vice President, National Patient Care Services), chief nursing officer, senior regional director of health plan member services, nursing director of maternal child health, and, nursing director of quality/performance improvement and administrative services. During my KP national role, I was responsible for creating the national patient care services technology research and innovation strategy, in addition to serving as a consultant for all patient care services and nursing technology innovation projects that were funded by the organization.

During my KP tenure, I led several research studies, including: the development of a novel maggot debridement protocol for urgent treatment (Urology: Case #5 in the attached article), shared leadership design and deployment (Hospital and Ambulatory Nursing), delirium assessment (ICU), pain management (organization-wide), medication adherence (organization-wide), and, diabetic screening in non-diabetic patients (Endocrinology), among others.

Further, I led an interprofessional team in the research exploration, design, build, validation and deployment of the KP hospital of the future, in addition to an enterprise-wide research trial in the selection of an interactive patient care technology system, collaborative creation of the national KP telehealth and telemedicine strategy, medication adherence research Med Adh Guidelines: External Group and deployment of a national Medication Adherence Grand Rounds forum that attracted more than 100 physicians, pharmacists, nurses, leaders and others annually to the Kaiser Permanente Sidney R. Garfield Healthcare Innovation Center in California; and a side-by-side comparison of a virtual worlds system and traditional approaches to clinical education (the Virtual Worlds and Traditional Clinical Education tools were created, validated as part of a joint venture with KP and Stanford University’s former SUMMIT Team: Dr. LeRoy Heinrichs, professor emeritus, Dr. Patricia Youngblood, former education research director, and Dr. Parvati Dev, former director).

Earlier in my career, I had the pleasure of working at the University of California, San Francisco, General Clinical Research Center with directors, Dr. Curtis Morris and Dr. Anthony Sebastian, by leading the design, development and deployment of two off-campus clinical trials research clinics [FDA drug approval: Essential Hypertension and Osteoporosis] in the East Bay (Sutter Health and Highland General Hospital, 1989-1992). I developed and led the two off-campus UCSF clinical trials research clinics with Dr. Roger Peeks, a Stanford University School of Medicine alumni and former dean. UCSF GCRC Essential Hypertension Clinical Trial Article

I chose to come to Stanford Health Care because of its culture of innovation and research! I believe the entire transdisciplinary team is positioned to bolster important research initiatives across Stanford Health Care. Each professional specialty adds its unique prospective lens and collectively aid in our vision to heal humanity through science and compassion. In my new position, I will work with my colleagues in the Office of Research, Patient Care Services to identify opportunities to strengthen our infrastructure, capabilities, and services, to meet the growing interests and needs of our organization. I want to better understand how we can address chronic disease self-management, health equity; and mental health among health care professionals. Furthermore, I will partner with clinicians and researchers across Stanford Health Care, the Stanford School of Medicine, and external groups (national and global) to better understand how we can initiate, support and influence patient care and nursing research.

If you’d like to get in touch with Michelle, she can be reached at

Article By: Michelle Williams

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