Ask An Expert: Stanford Medicine Releases Framework for Rebounding from COVID-19

Excerpts and edited notes for this blog were referenced from an “Ask An Expert” KCBS radio station 740 FM segment on November 13th, 2020 hosted by Stan Bunger. This blog is presented for viewers to validate, accept and/or decline its content and findings on their own.

Ask An Expert

Stanford Medicine released a new framework this week to advise parts of society on how to safely return to more normal operations during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

The developers called the effort Recover, Restore and Reopen, or R3.


The Stanford R3 framework was conceived to help communities and organizations deal with the pandemic and recover from it.

The team of experts at Stanford University created this initiative in order to address some of the multifaceted ways that COVID-19 affects different communities.

Dr. Mary Leonard, one of the creators of the R3 framework and chair of the department of pediatrics at Stanford, said that when considering how to control COVID-19, society needs to get more sophisticated with testing strategies.

The project had three main goals:
1. Learning how to best contain and control COVID-19;
2. How to adapt;
3. How to safeguard and support communities.

Dr. Leonard said that the next step for her team is “connecting with the community and with the government and with the stakeholders to have an even further impact.”

She told KCBS Radio on Friday’s “Ask An Expert” that the team is now committed to figuring out how they can use “artificial intelligence and big data and the other expertise Stanford has across the state and across the country, to get better modeling, better predictions, so that other people can be prepared.”

The Stanford team is especially focused on increasing access to resources, such as testing and vaccines, when they become available, which is challenging for more vulnerable communities.

Another issue many communities are facing is access to telehealth, a popular health service where patients can connect with their provider remotely. However, for people without access to Wi-Fi or a device, telehealth services are not an option.

Dr. Leonard noted that the most effective strategy for providing better health care to vulnerable communities is policy change. She thinks that while the country is far from having a mandatory vaccine in its future, experts and governmental policymakers need to “come together and to communicate in a very consistent manner that helps to build trust.”

One of the contributing factors to confusion and mistrust of officials during the pandemic has been the mixed messages from various jurisdictions about what is and isn’t safe.

Dr. Leonard said we need more consistent messaging.

“At the national level, it will be such a game changer for us if we don’t have such mixed messaging, coming not just from the White House, but from all the different governors around the country that really has wreaked havoc,” she told KCBS Radio. “When in one state, you can go into a bar and another state, they aren’t even doing elective procedures, I think that has contributed to the lack of trust.”

The Stanford team has a website for their R3 framework, which includes informational lectures and other COVID-19 resources.