Priscilla Chan on The Primary School 2018

August is a very special time for us at The Primary School. For the past three years, we have launched the beginning of a new school year, welcoming new staff, children and families. Now in our third year, the first day of school had both the butterflies of anticipating something new and the warm feeling of welcome home.

With this very special milestone, I would like to welcome the newest member of our team, Courtney Garcia, who will be joining us as the new CEO of The Primary School. Courtney has a deep background in bringing health and education together, and is passionate about providing stronger supports to students and families in under-resourced communities. She began her career supporting and growing schools and most recently served as Chief Sites Officer at Peer Health Exchange.

I have been at the helm of The Primary School as both Founder and CEO and am so proud of what Meredith and I have built along with our incredible team. It’s been a dream for us to grow the organization from the inkling of an idea to a place where we are nurturing the health and education needs of hundreds of children and families. We’re excited to partner with Courtney to take the organization into the future at this important phase in our growth.

I will remain involved as Board Chair and continue to work on making the vision come to life. I remain committed to our staff, our families, our partners, and the East Palo Alto and Belle Haven communities. Looking forward to a great 2018-2019 school year!

This week, we had the privilege of learning from Dr. Joe DeRisi, who is a co-leader of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and a professor at UCSF. Back when I was a med student in his class, his passion and enthusiasm for understanding infectious disease was—for lack of a better word—contagious. I’m honored that I can once again learn from and collaborate with Joe as he co-leads the Biohub.

The work he’s leading at the Biohub, a nonprofit where researchers and engineers from Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and UCSF are working together, along with engineers from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases, is nothing short of amazing. In his talk, Joe outlined how genome sequencing is becoming more powerful and cheaper to use, and the ways that the Biohub is helping doctors around the world diagnose and treat cases that have evaded traditional methods of diagnosis. Thank you again to Joe for joining us and sharing his insights into this exciting work.

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