About Dr. Swanson
Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson is leading the way to a new age in medicine with innovations in digital, social, and online media to prevent disease, increase understanding, and revolutionize healthcare.
Dr. Swanson, a pediatrician and bioethicist is a prominent advocate of evidence-based medicine and prevention. She is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine and directs digital health at Stanford’s Sean Parker Center For Asthma and Allergy Research.
She is known for pioneering new ways to revolutionize health communications by using social and digital media to bridge the gap between parents and doctors. Swanson was the founder and Chief of Digital Innovation at Seattle Children’s Hospital, a community pediatrician, a weekly TV reporter, blogger starting the first physician authored blog for a hospital in the US in 2009. She has continued to be an important thought leader on health and innovation for over a decade.
Dr. Swanson speaks to digital health, innovation in public health, prevention, and healthcare advocacy. She provides pediatric advice to the press. She has worked in primary care, hospital executive leadership, and venture-backed start-ups. Most recently, she was the Chief Medical Officer of Before Brands, makers of SpoonfulOne for 6 years leading communication and health translation to clinicians and parents to protect against the development of food allergies. The company was acquired by Nestle Health Science and transferred in early 2023.
Dr. Swanson is a leading innovator in digital health, innovation and prevention
She has collaborated with corporations on the impact of their products with the public, including with Amazon on the development of Alexa for Kids and with Proctor & Gamble on their new category creating infant monitoring and tracking. When leading the medical team at SpoonfulOne she designed an end-to-end virtual clinical trial enrolling 1500 infants across all 50 US states focused on early infant feeding. Recruitment was successfully completed online in mom chat rooms & through novel EHR-invitation. She piloted several groundbreaking technologies while leading the team at Seattle Children’s Hospital: Virtual Handshake™, launched in 2014, which gives patient families information about the doctors and care team they’ll meet during visits, gives them further education during their child’s treatment, and tools for building a community around their child. She and her team have also supported the development of two apps: PRISM, to help teen patients manage stress, mindfulness, and resiliency during care; and P.O.P. Care, a mobile tool to track post-operative care and pain meds for tonsillectomy patients. She’s also partnered with solid organ transplant teams to create education curriculum and she guides hospital strategy for digital engagement. She created and piloted a voice skill for Amazon Alexa that provided influenza vaccination recommendations and illness questions. This was the first use case piloting Alexa devices in hospital waiting rooms.
Relationships and communication, access to data and care teams
Strong caregiver-patient relationships are built on communication, and Dr. Swanson has led the way in developing communication tools that are “dual-centric” — both patient-centered and clinician-centered. As the first physician blogger for a US hospital, she led the way for novel use of social media in healthcare. Her Seattle Mama Doc blog, podcast, and other social media channels have translated science and medical information to millions around the world. She is now online as @WendySueSwanson on Twitter, @DrWendySueSwanson on Facebook, & @DrWendySueSwanson on Instagram.
Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson is a leading pediatrician, executive physician, entrepreneur and public health contributor. She was a health reporter to Seattle’s NBC affiliate station for 6 years, and continues to be an official spokesperson and public speaker. After practicing primary care pediatrics for 12 years, she worked as a digital health executive in the hospital and became the Chief of Digital Innovation. She joined the start-up, Before Brands, as the Chief Medical Officer for 6 years. Before Brands was a health and wellness startup developing products and education to prevent food allergies. The company was acquired by Nestle Health Science. She holds a master’s degree in bioethics and is the author of the book Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Child Health, Parenting, and World-Life Balance, in addition to her blog and podcast.
Her credentials also include:
- MD, MBE (Masters of Bioethics), and FAAP (Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Adjunct Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine
- Recipient of a Gold Award from Mom’s Choice Awards for her book Mama Doc Medicine.
- Named to Time Magazine’s Best Twitter Feeds of 2013.
- Spokesperson, American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on Communications and Media. Close partnerships and work for various state Department of Health and for the Centers for Disease Control on education and health translation.
- Previous Huffington Post contributor, KING5 News medical contributor,
- Quoted widely in press on pediatrics, health and innovation in print, online, and TV
- Past, Chief of Digital Innovation, Seattle Children’s Hospital
- Past, Clinical Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington.
- Platinum Fellow & advisor to the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.