All Publications

  • Stanford Vax Crew: A Model for Agile, Community-Centered Vaccination Campaigns. Health security Cheng, M., Murtagh, C., Macias, B., Torres, D. T., Newman, W. 2023


    Stanford Vax Crew, one of the largest medical-student-led vaccination programs in the United States, serves as a case study of a successful community-university partnership that adapted its existing operations to enable COVID-19 vaccine distribution. It offers a model for agile, community-centered vaccination campaigns that harness diverse stakeholder strengths to promote vaccine access and uptake in underserved communities. This case study aims to outline the history and structure of the community-university partnership model developed through Stanford Vax Crew, describe key observations of factors that contributed to the scalability of the model, and provide experience-based recommendations for future community-university collaborations.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/hs.2023.0027

    View details for PubMedID 37962567

  • Student-Athletes' Deteriorating Mental Health During COVID-19: Recommendations on Proactive Strategies for Addressing Unique Mental Health Needs. Journal of pediatric psychology Cheng, M., van Niekerk, M., Biviano, G. 2023


    High school and college student-athletes face unique stressors that can negatively impact their mental health, which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although mental health issues are prevalent in athletic communities, there often remains stigma around mental health and reluctance to seek psychological support. Physical injury can be the cause or the result of the psychological struggles that athletes face-holistic care for the adolescent athlete population must incorporate both elements. Pediatric psychologists, allied healthcare professionals, sports organizations, academic institutions, coaches, caregivers, and student-athletes themselves all play an active role in shaping the mental health of student-athletes and are therefore responsible for creating a culture that prioritizes mental and physical wellness. This paper aims to provide clear recommendations for the various stakeholders on how to address the unique mental health needs of student-athletes. The recommendations presented are based on a review of existing literature in the field and on-the-ground experience working with student-athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are several key interventions highlighted in this paper, including changing the athletic community's culture to prioritize the holistic well-being of athletes, as well as proactively offering mental health education, resources, and programming for student-athletes, with a particular emphasis on health equity to meet the needs of students most at risk. Commitment from pediatric psychologists and allied healthcare professionals, sports organizations, academic institutions, coaches, caregivers, and student-athletes will maximize the likelihood of improving student-athletes' psychological well-being.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jpepsy/jsad071

    View details for PubMedID 37816146

  • Does Intra-Uterine Exposure to the Zika Virus Increase Risks of Cognitive Delay at Preschool Ages? Findings from a Zika-Exposed Cohort from Grenada, West Indies. Viruses Fernandes, M., Evans, R., Cheng, M., Landon, B., Noël, T., Macpherson, C., Cudjoe, N., Burgen, K. S., Waechter, R., LaBeaud, A. D., Blackmon, K. 2023; 15 (6)


    Maternal infection with Zika virus (ZIKV) is associated with a distinct pattern of birth defects, known as congenital Zika syndrome (CZS). In ZIKV-exposed children without CZS, it is often unclear whether they were protected from in utero infection and neurotropism. Early neurodevelopmental assessment is essential for detecting neurodevelopmental delays (NDDs) and prioritizing at-risk children for early intervention. We compared neurodevelopmental outcomes between ZIKV-exposed and unexposed children at 1, 3 and 4 years to assess exposure-associated NDD risk. A total of 384 mother-child dyads were enrolled during a period of active ZIKV transmission (2016-2017) in Grenada, West Indies. Exposure status was based on laboratory assessment of prenatal and postnatal maternal serum. Neurodevelopment was assessed using the Oxford Neurodevelopment Assessment, the NEPSY® Second Edition and Cardiff Vision Tests, at 12 (n = 66), 36 (n = 58) and 48 (n = 59) months, respectively. There were no differences in NDD rates or vision scores between ZIKV-exposed and unexposed children. Rates of microcephaly at birth (0.88% vs. 0.83%, p = 0.81), and childhood stunting and wasting did not differ between groups. Our results show that Grenadian ZIKV-exposed children, the majority of whom were without microcephaly, had similar neurodevelopmental outcomes to unexposed controls up to at least an age of 4 years.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/v15061290

    View details for PubMedID 37376590

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10304152

  • Genetics workforce: distribution of genetics services and challenges to health care in California. Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics Penon-Portmann, M., Chang, J., Cheng, M., Shieh, J. T. 2020; 22 (1): 227-231


    Access to genetics health-care services is often complicated by the distance to hospitals, workforce shortages, and insurance coverage. Despite technological advances and decreasing costs of genetic sequencing, the benefits of personalized medicine may be inaccessible to many patients. To assess potential disparities in care, we examined the genetics workforce in California and geographical issues that people encounter in seeking care.Data on all board-certified genetics providers were analyzed including medical geneticists (MGs) and genetic counselors (GCs) in California. To assess distance traveled for care, we computed the distance patients traveled for n = 288 visits to University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Genetics. We performed geographic optimization to minimize the distance to genetics providers.The provider-to-patient ratio in California is 1:330,000 for MGs, 1:100,000 for GCs, and 1:1,520,000 for biochemical MGs. Genetics providers are concentrated in major metropolitan areas in California. People travel up to 386 miles for genetics care within the state (mean = 76.6 miles).There are substantial geographic barriers to genetics care that could increase disparities. Our findings highlight a challenging genetics workforce shortage. The shortage may be even greater due to care subspecialization or lack of full-time equivalency and staffing. We are currently promoting efforts to increase remote health-care options, training, and modified models of care.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41436-019-0628-5

    View details for PubMedID 31417191

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10218759