Seth Ammerman, MD, Founder of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford Teen Van, Retires

Seth Ammerman, MD

For release: March 28, 2019

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health announced today that Seth Ammerman, MD, medical director of Mobile Adolescent Health Services at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and a clinical professor in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, has retired after 28 years of service to the organization.

Among Ammerman’s celebrated accomplishments include founding one of the nation’s first adolescent-focused mobile health clinics in 1996. The hospital’s “Teen Van,” as it is recognized, provides free, comprehensive primary healthcare services to uninsured and homeless youth ages 10 to 25 at ten sites across Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties.

Under Ammerman’s leadership, the Teen Van has provided over 15,000 visits to more than 4,500 patients since its founding in 1996. Its multidisciplinary staff, made up of a physician specializing in adolescent medicine, a nurse practitioner, a social worker, and a registered dietitian, provide care for those who rely exclusively on the Teen Van as their only link to a network of healthcare services they urgently need. All services and medications are provided free of charge to patients, including: acute illness and injury care, physical exams, family planning services, pregnancy testing, HIV and STD counseling and testing, blood tests, immunizations, mental health services, substance use counseling, and nutrition and fitness counseling.

Strengths-based approach

“My career has been guided by the approach that we all need to take care of each other if we are to ultimately succeed, and to provide our young people with the care and support they need and deserve,” Ammerman said. “We explicitly take a strengths-based approach to all our patients, which is a wonderful way to engage them, and lets them know that in spite of often difficult life circumstances, they can achieve their goals and do well. I am proud of the difference the Teen Van is making for our underserved youth population, as evidenced by our 70% return visit rate. The need for programs like the Teen Van is great, and it is my hope as I head into retirement that more programs like this fulfill the unmet healthcare needs of the many young people both in our community and across the country.”

The Teen Van has been nationally recognized as a successful strategy to provide adolescents with high-quality healthcare, most recently this month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health's Think, Act, Grow® (TAG) program. In addition, Ammerman was awarded the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Adolescent Health Founders Award in 2012, and the San Francisco Bay Area Jefferson Award for Public Service in both 2014 and 2015, which honors public service achievements in local communities.

“With his retirement, Seth leaves a great legacy that has been recognized far beyond the confines of our own institution,” said Neville Golden, MD, division chief of adolescent medicine at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. He has been recognized nationally and internationally for his work with homeless and underserved youth as well as for his expertise in substance abuse, addiction medicine, transgender care and eating disorders. He has made a substantial difference in the lives of countless underserved youth.”

“Seth has helped thousands of uninsured and homeless adolescents in our community receive healthcare services that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” said Sherri Sager, chief government and community relations officer at Packard Children’s. “His work will have a lasting impact on our community for years to come.”

Following Ammerman’s retirement, the Teen Van continues to operate under the leadership of interim director, Megen Vo, MD. The van schedule is available at Visits to the van include drop-in and scheduled appointments, which can be made by calling (650) 736-7172.

Media contact:

Kate DeTrempe
(650) 721-8527

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