Virtual Doctor Visits Link Families in Monterey to Pediatric Specialists at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

For Release: July 30, 2013

MONTEREY, Calif. - Families in Monterey now have a new way to access pediatric specialty care from experts at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, without making the commute to Palo Alto.

The Pediatric Group of Monterey, in partnership with Packard Children’s, recently implemented Cisco HealthPresence technology, a video interface that enables live physician-to-patient interaction between doctors in Palo Alto and patients in Monterey. Recognizing the technology’s potential to improve access to specialty care, Cisco donated the equipment and launched a pilot project in February 2013 with pediatric urologist William Kennedy, MD, at Packard Children’s, and pediatrician Todd A. Dwelle, MD, at the Pediatric Group of Monterey. 

Cisco HealthPresence provides “care-at-a-distance,” allowing patients to interact with doctors many miles away through a video interface. For the last year, Dwelle has worked with Packard nurse practitioners on-site at the Pediatric Group of Monterey to facilitate interactions between patients in Monterey and specialists in Palo Alto.

“This technology has tremendous value and potential as a health care solution for our community,” says Dwelle. “When our patient families need a Packard referral, they may face long wait-times for appointments, hours of commuting, and the logistical and financial burden of taking time off school and work. This partnership lowers the barriers to Packard’s high-quality specialty care, so that families can focus on the health and well-being of their child.”

To date, this technology has enabled Kennedy to conduct more than 100 virtual visits with patients from his home base at Packard Children’s, and has shown promising results. Since HealthPresence was introduced in Monterey, wait times to see Kennedy have dropped 60 percent. Fewer families are making the 80-mile drive to Palo Alto, and patients are getting faster treatment and better continuity of care as providers use the interface to share key documents such as electronic medical records and radiographic images.

“HealthPresence allows for faster and more convenient treatment for my patients, and it’s amazing how much they like it,” says Kennedy. “Kids warm up to me more quickly when I pop up on screen than in person. Parents are amazed at the quality of the audio and video. And without the stress of commuting, they are more relaxed and able to discuss important medical information."

“The bottom line,” Kennedy adds, “is that teleheath allows us to provide high-quality, collaborative care that is accessible to our patient families, right in their own communities.” Looking ahead, the Pediatric Group of Monterey will onboard other services in addition to urology and hopes to see this technology serve as a model for other hospitals and healthcare programs.


Todd Dwelle, MD
Pediatric Group of Monterey

Robert Dicks
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

About Pediatric Group of Monterey

The Pediatric Group of Monterey is a well-established group of pediatric providers caring for children in Monterey County for over 50 years. They are dedicated to providing quality evidence-based care utilizing modern technology and compassion. Learn more about the Pediatric Group of Monterey at or like them on Facebook to receive timely local pediatric information.

About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at