Lillie & Donnelly Seed Grant Program Details

The Stanford Medicine Center for Improvement (SMCI) Lillie and Donnelly Seed Grant Program aims to promote improvements in quality, safety, efficiency, cost, and patient experience at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford (LPCHS) and Stanford Medicine Children’s Health (SMCH) as part of the care we provide to children, expectant mothers, and their families.  Through this new grant program, we intend to harness the expertise of faculty, trainees, and staff who work within LPCHS and SMCH to develop and implement innovative pilot projects designed to lead to new approaches to improve our performance and the quality of health care we provide.

Proposals for funding from the Lillie and Donnelly Seed Grant Program should demonstrate the clear potential to create measurable improvement(s) in health care services delivered at LPCHS and SMCH within any discipline and at any level.  The seed grants will support improvement activities in operations or processes rather than research designed primarily to generate new knowledge.  The projects should be focused on a well-defined problem, oriented towards a specific aim, and practical in nature.

The awards will provide either 12 or 18 months of funding support for performance and quality improvement activities that enhance clinical care and create safer, more effective practices or improve operations and efficiency.  These performance and quality improvement initiatives may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Performance or quality improvement  work on systems and processes
    • Reducing waits and delays for both those who receive and those who provide care.
    • Enhancing efficiency with the use of equipment, supplies, or patient care processes.
  • Patient-centered
    • Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient-centered values guide all clinical decisions.
    • Providing care that does not vary in quality because of individual characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, primary language, and/or socioeconomic status.
  • Focus on being part of a team-based care model
    •  Collaboration and coordination of care
  • Focus on use of the data about care or care processes
    • Data collection and analysis

Key Dates

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, November 7, 2022 @ 11:59 PM PT

Submit your application along with your Biosketch and Other Support pages or equivalent document (e.g., resume or CV) describing the background and credentials of the Principal Investigator (PI) in QI and/or PI as one PDF to the following link:  ONLINE APPLICATION LINK.  You do not need to submit your application via your division’s or department’s research program manager. 

General Elidgibility

Eligible applicants can be Stanford faculty members, clinical (MD) fellows in any year of training except for their final year, and LPCHS and SMCH staff and administrators.  Eligible individuals who do not have experience conducting performance or quality improvement projects can apply as long as their application includes either an experienced Stanford faculty or LPCHS/SHC staff member who will serve as a Co-PI and project mentor.  Visiting scholars are not eligible to serve as PI or Co-PI.  They may, however, serve as collaborators or sub-investigators.  

Project start date is March 1, 2023*.   Awards will be announced in February 2023.


Awards of two different amounts will be made.  Smaller awards for projects to be completed within 12 months can have an award amount up to $15,000.  Larger awards for projects to be completed within 18 months can be up to $50,000 and should include an evaluation plan.  Please note that the Stanford University charges all restricted gift funds an 8% infrastructure charge (ISC) for partial support of the University’s infrastructure activities.  This charge is excluded from the total award amount.   

Applicants may request support for personnel (undergraduate or graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates, or faculty) and other personnel-related expenses.  Budget line items may be dedicated to QI efforts, including but not limited to the purchase of training materials, data analysis, technical assistance and consultation.  Abstracts, presentations and publications costs are allowable if they are directly related to the project.

Funds cannot be used for student tuition or fees, computer equipment, office supplies, journal subscriptions, membership dues or any indirect research costs.

Assessment Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the Lillie and Donnelly Seed Grant Program Advisory Board and other reviewers chosen by the Board for their specific expertise.   Assessments will be based on but not limited to the significance, innovation, and approach of the proposed project; implementation feasibility; investigator team; and relevance and potential impact of the project on quality improvement of health care performance.  Proposals that demonstrate potential for future extramural funding will be prioritized.  Please refer to the website for a comprehensive list of the review criteria.   

 Questions? Contact:
Kim Stern or Lisa Freeman 

Institutional representative: not applicable. These programs are internal Stanford funding opportunities. Please do not submit your proposal through your institutional official for approval. You may submit your proposal directly to SMCI via their online application link. PI Waivers are not required. 

*Award start date can be within 3 months of the award notification in February 2023.

Karen Frush, MD, is the former Chief Quality Officer at Stanford Health Care. She is a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics. She also serves as a member of the Stanford Medicine Center for Improvement Advisory Committee.

Dr. Frush has been an MCHB funded researcher and helped lead an effort funded by the CMS Innovation Center to improve patient safety and quality across 70 small community and rural hospitals through the LifePoint Hospital Engagement Network. LifePoint was recognized with the John M Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award in 2017 for this work. Dr. Frush has published peer review manuscripts in the areas of pediatric emergency care, patient safety and quality, teamwork, safety culture, interprofessional care, and quality improvement, and she has authored multiple books on these subjects, including Improving Patient Safety through Teamwork and Team Training, with Eduardo Salasin 2012. She is a Team STEPPS Master Trainer and served on the Department of Defense, Team STEPPS Technical Expert Panel (2008-2010). She is an alumnus of the AHA-NPSF Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship program, served on the American Academy of Pediatrics Steering Committee for Quality Improvement in Pediatrics(2006-2011), and has been named one of 50 experts leading the field of patient safety by Becker’s for the past five years. She served on the Board of Advisors and the Board of Directors for the National Patient Safety Foundation and currently serves as Chair of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety.

Former Leadership positions include Chief Patient Safety Officer of the Duke University Health System (2004-2018); member of the Board of Trustees, North Carolina Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety (2005-2012), and Vice President for Quality, LifePoint Health and Duke-LifePoint Healthcare (2011-2018). Dr. Frush received a BSN from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and then attended the Duke University School of Medicine where she earned her MD.

Alice R. Georgitso, MPH, joins the SMCI Advisory Committee as our first Patient Partner. Alice has served as a Patient Partner with the Stanford Health Care (SHC) Patient & Family Partner Program for over 4 years and was appointed Chairperson of the Adult Congenital Heart Program Patient & Family Advisory Council in January 2020. She assisted in developing the Stanford Adult Congenital Heart Program’s Peer-to-Peer Program and serves as a Mentor to ACHD patients pre-and-post-organ transplantation. Alice has presented Stanford Health Care’s C-I-CARE framework for structuring best practice communications and developing relationship-based care approaches with patients and colleagues to 500+ Stanford Medicine Directors, Managers and Clinical Staff.

Alice is a Patient Relations Manager at Stanford Health Care. Within her role, she provides a channel for problem resolution to promote the highest quality of care and service excellence. Alice has also worked as an Unrelated Donor Search Coordinator with the Blood & Marrow Transplant at Stanford Health Care to coordinate allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants through collaborative planning and partnership with the National Marrow Donor Program and SHC clinicians. Prior to her work with SHC, she was the Community Service Foundation Director at San Mateo County Medical Association where she partnered with local stakeholders and clinicians to expand county-wide community health programs to diverse populations. She has also delivered invaluable community health services through her work with the American Heart Association.

Alice earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Biology at Saint Bonaventure University in Olean, NY and her Master of Public Health from SUNY Buffalo in Buffalo, NY. Alice is a member of The Beryl Institute and Adult Congenital Heart Association professional associations, Donor Network West partner advocating for organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation, and remains an active volunteer with SHC. Alice continues to promote patient-and-family-centered care in both hospital and community settings to support precision health and improve the healthcare experience for patients, families, and clinicians.

John Shook learned about lean management while working for Toyota for 11 years in Japan and the U.S., helping it transfer production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to NUMMI and other operations around the world. While at Toyota's headquarters, he became the company's first American kacho (manager) in Japan. In the U.S., Shook joined Toyota’s North American engineering, research and development center in Ann Arbor, Michigan as general manager of administration and planning. His last position with Toyota was as senior American manager with the Toyota Supplier Support Center in Lexington, Kentucky, assisting North American companies adopt the Toyota Production System. Shook co-authored Learning to See, the book that introduced the world to value-stream mapping. He also co-authored Kaizen Express, a bi-lingual manual of the essential concepts and tools of the Toyota Production System. With Managing to Learn, Shook revealed the deeper workings of the A3 management process that is at the heart of Toyota’s management and leadership.
Shook is an industrial anthropologist with a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, and is a graduate of the Japan-America Institute of Management Science. At the University of Michigan, he was director of the Japan Technological Management Program and faculty member of the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering.
Shook is the author of numerous articles, including "How to Change a Culture: Lessons from NUMMI"; Sloan Management Review, January 2010, which won Sloan’s Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize for outstanding article in the field of organizational development.

The Stanford Medicine Center for Improvement benefits from the diversity of its members and the richness of the experiences that they bring. Although the program continues to evolve from when it first launched in October 2019, we continue to reach out to improvers across Stanford Medicine in the School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, Stanford Children’s Health, Stanford ValleyCare, UHA and PCHA. We welcome everyone from every discipline and recognize that we are stronger together as we value the contributions of every member of our teams.

Dr. Paul Maggio is the Chief Quality Officer of Stanford Health Care. Prior to being appointed the SHC CQO, he was Vice Chair of Surgery for Clinical Affairs, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Operational Effectiveness, and Associate Director of the Adult Intensive Care Unit. He trained in General Surgery at Brown University and obtained advanced training in Adult Surgical Critical Care and Trauma at the University of Michigan. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and is triple board certified in General Surgery, Critical Care, and Medical Informatics. In addition to being a clinician and surgeon, Dr. Maggio participates in the National Committee on Healthcare Engineering for the American College of Surgeons, and his research interests are focused on the delivery of high-value care.

Dr. Maggio received the SHC Board of Hospital Director’s Denise O’Leary Award for Clinical Excellence in 2013

Micah Duchesne joined Stanford Medicine in 2020 as a Principal Consultant project managing the deployment and operations of the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) for COVID-19. He is now the Administrative Director of Performance Improvement at Stanford Health Care where he leads annual operations planning, improvement consulting, and capability development. Micah is also a Fellow at the Stanford Medicine Center for Improvement.

Before joining Stanford, Micah was an independent consultant for his company Silicon Valley Strategy Group, which partnered with Novartis and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania to commercialize cellular therapies. He led a team of clinicians from Europe, Japan, and Australia in designing a global logistics model and quality management system for Kymriah, the world's first approved CAR-T therapy, and helped create an international advisory board aimed at improving global capacity.

Prior to independent consulting, Micah was the Director of Performance Improvement at Kaiser's Santa Clara Medical Center, and he previously held improvement roles of increasing complexity within other health systems. Micah has both a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Health Services Administration from Mississippi College. He also holds certifications as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Project Management Professional.

As a professional, Micah enjoys organizing complex stakeholder ecosystems, clarifying ambiguous goals, aligning visions, and driving high-stakes change. As a human, Micah just enjoys breaking a sweat. While he's not at work, he's at his very own gym in San Jose, CrossFit Moxie. You can find him there coaching olympic weightlifting or working out with his wife. He has a daughter in elementary school and two gym dogs.