Stanford Healthcare Executive Director of Nursing and Patient Care Services Research

Dr. MIchelle Y. Williams


chair of the Health Equity Executive Steering Committee, Stanford Health Care

The Journal of Black Innovation has selected Dr. Michelle Y. Williams, a pioneer in nursing and research, among the second annual BlackBio100.

Dr.  Williams currently serves as the Executive Director of Nursing and Patient Care Services Research at Stanford Health Care with leadership responsibility for Clinical Trials Nursing Research Operations and Practice, Academic Nursing and Patient Care Research and the new Health Equity Research Division. Dr. Williams has served as an executive nurse leader for over 35 years in several roles and organizations. Dr. Williams holds academic appointments as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Primacy Care and Population Health at Stanford School of Medicine, Assistant Professor at Holy Names University School of Nursing and Assistant Professor at the California State University East Bay School of Nursing. 

Dr. Williams started her nursing career at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California serving underserved communities, where she was honored to be recruited by the University of California San Francisco General Clinical Research Center to build and lead two clinical trials research centers to increase research access to communities of color. Dr. Williams served for 30 years at Kaiser Permanente in roles ranging from chief nurse executive at the Richmond, California Medical Center, senior regional director across Northern California with responsibility for health plan local member services, and as the national director of technology innovation research reporting to the renown, Dr. Marilyn P. Chow, DNSc, RN, FAAN. 

Dr. Williams serves as the founding vice president of the Stanford Medicine Black Nurses Association Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association; the inaugural co-chair of the Health Equity Executive Steering Committee, Stanford Health Care; former chair and current executive advisor to the SHC BEAM TEAM Black Employee Resource Group; member, board-of-directors, National Association of Health Service Executives (NAHSE); and member of the SHC East Bay Cancer Center Development strategy team. Since joining Stanford Health Care in February 2020, Dr. Williams has created the Nursing Research Vision and Strategy to promote clinical research practice skills and competency development among frontline nurses, clinicians, and staff and to support the provision of safe, quality care to patients enrolled in Stanford School of Medicine Research programs. Additionally, through Dr. Williams’ vision and approved business cases, the following new programs, departments, and divisions were created in 2021: 

  1. SHC inpatient hospital nursing infrastructure for clinical trials, which included, expanding the nurse scientist department, creating the health equity research division, increasing the number of faculty appointment positions from five to 15, created 12 new leadership positions, including 3 director, 6 patient care manager/assistant patient care manager, and 2 program/senior program management positions, among others—to meet the demand for research excellence across Stanford Health Care and Stanford Valley Care. 
  2. Chartering of the Office of Research Patient Care Services (ORPCS) Research Lab, which affords PhD-prepared nurses and allied research scientists to engage in an open forum for scientific discussion, progression of scientific studies relevant to nursing, health services, clinical/epidemiological, community, informatics research, among other areas.
  3. Implementation Science: Vascular Access Program Pilot and Evaluation at an East Bay Safety Net Hospital. 

Dr. Williams founded the B.W. Healthcare Education, Research and Innovation Hub, Inc. (2019) and the Charlene Barrett Center for Health Education Non-Profit (2021), both in California’s Contra Costa County, to support community health and promote research, education, innovation in health equity, social justice, and anti-racism programs throughout the county. 

On the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., BlackBio100 selectees join the 21st annual 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology, 50 Most Important African-Americans in Infrastructure during the annual scientific proceeding of the Journal of Black Innovation, Inovation&Equity21, on Jan. 15, 2022 in San Francisco. Registration in person or online is at