Meet Our Staff

Kate Lorig, Dr.P.H.


Kate Lorig, Dr.P.H. SMRC Partner

Kate served as the Director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center and Professor of Medicine in the Stanford School of Medicine. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Boston University, and her masters and doctorate of public health in health education at the University of California, Berkeley. She came to Stanford in 1979 while a graduate student at Cal to develop and research an educational program that emphasized self-help skills for people with arthritis. This program became the Arthritis Self-Help Course and was the prototype for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, The Diabetes Self-Management Program, the Aging Well with HIV for HIV, the Cancer: Thriving and Surviving Program, the Building Better Caregiver’s Program, the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program, and others. She has authored several books and many articles about arthritis, chronic disease in general, health education and behavioral science. She travels extensively at the invitation of organizations concerned with patient care and academic research. She lives in Los Altos, CA, with her collection of Native American art.

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Diana Laurent, M.P.H.


Diana Laurent, M.P.H. SMRC Partner

Diana joined the Stanford Patient Education Research Center in 1986, and has worked with Kate and Ginger ever since. She received her M.P.H. in community health education at San Jose State University. She is co-developer of all of our self-management programs, and co-author on Living and Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions, Living a Healthy Life with HIV, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain, and Building Better Caregivers books. She has lived with chronic conditions for most of her life and is dedicated to making things better for all of us. She lives about a mile from Monterey Bay on the Central California coast with her husband, son and 2 cats.

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Virginia González, M.P.H.

Partner and Training Director

Virginia González, M.P.H. SMRC Partner

Virginia (a.k.a. Ginger) González earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology at UCLA and then her M.P.H. in Health Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Virginia worked as a research assistant at the Stanford Patient Education Research Center from 1986 to 2001. She is a co-developer of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), the Aging Well with HIV for HIV/AIDs (PSMP) and the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), as well as co-author of the books, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions, Tomando control de su salud, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain (in English and Spanish), and Living a Healthy Life with HIV. Virginia was also instrumental in the development, implementation and evaluation of the Spanish self-management programs in arthritis, chronic disease and diabetes. Virginia left Stanford to focus on her family, raising her 4 children and caring for her aging parents and in-laws, all of whom were managing chronic conditions. Despite her absence from the day-to-day operations of the Center, she remained involved, working on special projects, training, and assisting in the revision of the different self-management programs and books.  Now she is back with Kate and Diana at SMRC.  She lives in San Jose, CA, with her husband, 2 children, and 2 grandchildren.

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Stephanie FallCreek, D.S.W.

Director of Marketing and Business Development

Stephanie FallCreek

Stephanie has a long history working with us.  As co-founder and CEO of Fairhill Partners in Cleveland Ohio, she has been an enthusiastic supporter of our programs.  In fact, the mailed Tool Kit with Conference Call delivery option was her idea as a way to reach the underserved in Cleveland and elsewhere.  She recently retired after 30 years as President and CEO of Fairhill Partners and joined SMRC. She has been involved in overseeing and delivering evidence-based health promotion programs for decades. She has held executive and consulting positions at the city, state, and federal levels.  Her Master’s and Doctorate degrees are from the University of California Berkeley in Social Welfare, and her undergraduate work was completed at the University of Oklahoma in History and Sociology.  She co-authored the nationally distributed book, A Healthy Old Aging: A Sourcebook for Health Promotion with Older Adults. Prior to coming to Fairhill, she served as the Director of Long Term Care and Restorative Services for New Mexico Department of Health and earlier as the Director of the New Mexico State Agency on Aging. Dr. FallCreek has held academic positions at New Mexico State University and University of Washington, Seattle.  Stephanie and her husband live mostly in Cleveland Ohio.

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Linda Castagnola, M.P.H.

Assistant Training Director

Linda Castagnola, M.P.H., Assistant Training Director

Linda Castagnola earned her bachelor’s degree in Global Affairs and then her M.P.H. in Community Health at George Mason University at Fairfax, VA. She has worked at several organizations managing training and implementation of the CDSMP programs in Latin America, the Caribbean and Florida. She is originally from Ecuador and lives in Miami, FL, with her husband and 2 daughters.

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Nieves Michel

Licensing Manager

Nieves Michel SMRC Licensing Manager

Nieves received her B.S. in International Business and Marketing at Schiller International University in Madrid. She worked with the Kate Lorig portfolio at Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing since 2010 until she moved moved away in 2016. She lives in Blacksburg, VA, with her husband and 3 children.

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Gloria Samuel

Events Manager

Gloria Samuel SMRC Events Manager

Gloria should be familiar to those who have worked with us at Stanford. Gloria was our admin, and also planned all of the logistics, parking permits, menus, etc., for our trainings at Stanford. At SMRC, she does many of the same training tasks. (Although we don’t need parking permits any longer!) She lives in East Palo Alto, CA, with her son, daughter and granddaughter.


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