Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Community Health Leader Receives Prestigious Award for Public Service

For Release: May 12, 2014

STANFORD, CA. – Seth Ammerman, MD, medical director of Mobile Adolescent Health Services at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, has received a Bay Area Jefferson Award, which honors public service achievements in local communities.

Ammerman, clinical professor of pediatrics at the Stanford School of Medicine, received the prestigious award for his role in providing free, comprehensive health-care services to uninsured and homeless youth through the hospital’s Teen Health Van. He founded the program in 1996.

Seth Ammerman, MD - Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Ammerman and his health-care team — made up of a nurse practitioner, a registered dietitian and social worker — travel to underserved areas from San Francisco to San Jose in the mobile clinic, providing free comprehensive and preventive health care to adolescents between the ages of 10 and 25. The team travels among seven different schools and community centers on a regularly scheduled basis, providing over 1,100 medical, mental health and nutrition/fitness counseling visits annually. The program also partners with other community agencies that work with the same youth.

“Seth Ammerman is a hero in the community,” said Steve Westly, who nominated Ammerman for the award. Westly is the managing partner of The Westly Group, a clean technology venture fund, and board member of the Westly Foundation. “He is an outstanding doctor who has chosen to serve the people in our community who otherwise have virtually no access to health care,” Westly said. “He has dedicated his life to top-notch health care for the people—especially kids—who need it the most.”

“Receiving the Jefferson Award is a real honor,” Ammerman said. “But what’s most exciting about the recognition is that it highlights the Teen Health Van. We need more of these kinds of programs because the need is so great.”

The mobile program treats youth who have a range of unmet health-care needs, including basic medical care, reproductive issues, skin problems, anxiety and depression, sexually transmitted infections and nutrition problems. The team also offers HIV testing and counseling, and substance abuse counseling and treatment.

“A large number of youth that we see are uninsured kids who come from working-poor families,” Ammerman said. “These kids have parents who work, but the type of jobs they have don’t provide benefits, and they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.”

The program and other community agencies that serve the at-risk population are making a difference. According to Ammerman, two-thirds of the homeless kids they see are able to get off the streets and into housing, and 70 percent of the kids return to the van for follow-up visits.

“It’s a positive sign that they are returning. That’s because they often have multiple unmet health-care needs, and we can’t meet all these needs in just one or two visits,” Ammerman added.

“Many of the students seen on the Teen Van have lived lives filled with challenges and heartbreak, where trust isn’t easily earned, but Dr. Ammerman’s friendly and kind demeanor makes students feel at ease and he immediately engages them,” said Perla Pasallo, assistant principal at Los Altos High School, one of the program’s partner sites. “I’m not sure if Dr. Ammerman is aware of the incredible impact he has had on so many students, but I can attest to the significance of his work and how meaningful it has been for our students.”

* The Teen Van’s upcoming schedule can be viewed here.
* See a video profile of Dr. Ammerman and the Jefferson Award on KPIX CBS-5 here.

About the Jefferson Awards

Founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard, the Jefferson Awards is America’s highest honor for public service, a “Nobel Prize for public service.” The Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels: national and local. National award recipients represent a “Who’s Who” of outstanding Americans. The organization partners with a network of more than 110 Media Partners reaching into 30 million households. As the Bay Area’s media partner for the Jefferson Awards, CBS KPIX 5 selects a winner each week. Of the 52 winners, they select one local winner each year to attend the annual Jefferson Awards National Ceremonies in Washington D.C.


Media contact:
Winter Johnson
(650) 498-7056

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