Palo Alto Medical Foundation Newsroom

Neurointerventional Program Expands Brain & Spine Disease Treatment

PAMF, El Camino Hospital Provide Minimally Invasive Procedures, More Comprehensive Care in Silicon Valley

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation and El Camino Hospital announced today an expansion of the hospital’s Neuroscience Institute to now include neurointerventional services.  Patients at the hospital’s Mountain View campus can now receive treatment for a wider range of diseases of the brain and spine and enhanced offerings for stroke-related care, neuro-oncology and neuro-critical care and comprehensive spine care.

To provide patients with the greatest breadth of expertise, this partnership brings together El Camino Hospital’s clinical expertise with that of Palo Alto Medical Foundation and independent physicians to benefit patients and families across the Silicon Valley area.

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PAMF Research Awarded $1.7M Grant by National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has awarded the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) a $1.7M three-year grant (R01HL119845) to study a new way to measure the effects of a disease and its treatment on patients’ lives. The study will focus on asthma to test the new approach.

Sandra R. Wilson, Ph. D.

Sandra R. Wilson, Ph. D.

Many tools already exist to help physicians and scientists measure patients’ symptoms, physical limitations and emotional well-being. However, “These measures alone don’t tell physicians caring for patients or scientists developing new medical treatments how the patient feels their quality of life is being affected, says Sandra Wilson, Ph.D., PAMFRI senior scientist and the study’s principal investigator. “Getting that information requires a new type of measure.”

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NIH Awards $3M Grant to PAMF Research Institute

Study on Benefits of Strength Training Regimen for Normal Weight Diabetics 

Researchers at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) have been awarded a $3M grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to study the benefits of strength training for people with type 2 diabetes who are at normal weight.

With type 2 diabetes, the body cannot use insulin properly to control blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity has been shown to help control blood sugar levels, and current guidelines emphasize aerobic exercise and weight loss for overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, up to one in five people with type 2 diabetes are at normal weight, with a body mass index (BMI) under 25. They may not need to lose weight. For these individuals, best exercise regimen is not yet known. There is evidence that strength training, which improves muscle mass while decreasing body fat, may be more beneficial for normal weight diabetics than other types of exercise. Read More

PAMF Doctor Writes New Book on South Asian Health

Ronesh (Ron) Sinha, M.D., an internal medicine doctor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), co-creator of PAMF’s South Asian Health program, and medical director of PAMF’s mobile medical clinic, has written a new book, The South Asian Health Solution.

Published in March 2014, The South Asian Health Solution provides a health-based wellness plan culturally tailored to South Asians. Dr. Sinha provides evidence-based case studies and patient success stories, as well as a comprehensive family-oriented approach to lifestyle changes that can make positive health impacts.

“The epidemic of obesity and insulin resistance is a global crisis, and this book is an effort to educate and motivate South Asians who don’t find current books and resources culturally tailored to their traditions and lifestyle preferences,” said Dr. Sinha. “I share the most effective strategies for achieving health goals learned from my South Asian medical consult practice and my corporate wellness programs.”

Dr. Sinha is a recipient of the 2013 Silicon Valley Business Journal Health Care hero award, and he specializes in helping patients of South Asian heritage moderate heart disease risk factors and obesity trends with a comprehensive lifestyle modification approach that has delivered evidence-based results. He also works closely with employers in Silicon Valley to help reduce heart disease and diabetes risk in their employee communities, and gives corporate health lectures to promote wellness in the workplace. He hosts a bi-monthly radio program on South Asian health and wellness, and blogs at

Watch Dr. Sinha discuss South Asian health tips:

Learn more about The South Asian Health Solution and South Asian Health.





First West Coast Site for Interventional Pulmonology Fellowship Program: PAMF, El Camino Hospital

Program is one of only 15 nationwide to offer innovative, minimally invasive treatment options for complex pulmonary diseases

El Camino Hospital and Palo Alto Medical Foundation are collaborating with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Fellowship Program to be the first West Coast sites to offer interventional pulmonology fellowships for pulmonary fellows.

Interventional pulmonology (IP) is an emerging field within pulmonary medicine that focuses on the use of advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to treat patients with lung cancer, airway disorders and pleural (lung) diseases.

Ganesh Krishna, M.D.

Ganesh Krishna, M.D.

Ganesh Krishna, M.D., an interventional pulmonologist at Palo Alto Medical Foundation and El Camino Hospital, is the chair of the fellowship search and director of the fellowship program. The joint IP program is the leading program on the West Coast and one of only 15 nationwide providing diagnostic and therapeutic services and cutting-edge treatment in pulmonary medicine. 

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PAMF Researcher Reviews Impact of Employee Wellness Programs

Seventy-four percent of employers who offer health insurance also offer an employee wellness program. Options such as smoking cessation groups and walking programs encourage employees to set and achieve health goals in exchange for discounted health insurance premiums. In January 2014, the government allowed employers to increase the incentive discount, from 20 percent to 30 percent of the total health insurance premium cost.

But do employee wellness programs actually work? The Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) recently published a commentary in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on this question.

Lenny Lesser, M.D.

Lenny Lesser, M.D., MSHS

According to Lenard Lesser, M.D., MSHS, PAMFRI Assistant Research Physician, while monetary incentives may help employees start to make changes, sustaining those changes in the long term is far more challenging.

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$800,000 Gift to Enhance PAMF Vision Care Services in Santa Clara County

Generous Support Enhances Pediatric Vision Services for the Underserved and Anchors Capital Campaign for new Sunnyvale Vision Care Center

The Sunnyvale Vision Care Center of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) has received an $800,000 gift from Charles R. Munnerlyn, Ph.D., and Judith Munnerlyn. The contribution will support two important vision initiatives at PAMF. First, it will provide free vision care to underserved children as part of a partnership with the Sunnyvale School District. Second, the donation launches a $1.2 million capital campaign to begin building PAMF’s Sunnyvale Vision Care Center. Scheduled to open in the second half of 2016, the vision care center will named the Munnerlyn Eye Institute. 

Dr. Charles R. Munnerlyn and Judy Munnerlyn

Charles R. Munnerlyn, Ph.D. and Judy Munnerlyn

“I’ve spent my entire career developing innovative ophthalmic instruments from automated refractors to glaucoma testing equipment to lasers for treating eye diseases, and, ultimately, a laser for vision correction,” said Dr. Munnerlyn, who received his Ph.D. in optical engineering. “Nothing is more rewarding than having people tell me how they benefitted from vision technologies with which I have been involved. Making a contribution like this to Sunnyvale and the surrounding communities, provides a means not only for testing the vision of young people, but building the Eye Institute gives more people access to eye care and expands existing services.”

Dr. Munnerlyn is known as one of the founding fathers of laser vision correction for his role in developing the technology which has been used on more than 15 million eyes.  In the 1970s, Dr. Munnerlyn founded VISX, Incorporated, which became the leading manufacturer of laser-based vision correction systems in the world.  He serves on the board of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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