The course is SOLD OUT and registration is now closed. 
Become a narrative medicine leader.

Join the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative for a personalized, interactive narrative medicine workshop. You will participate in large and small group activities designed to teach practical skills, and support collaboration and innovation among learners from diverse healthcare experiences. We welcome healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers, and artists who are advocates for telling and receiving stories of illness and health in our communities. At this workshop you will learn and practice narrative competence, contribute to and participate in narrative exercises, and develop narrative medicine activities to implement in your own health settings and communities.

Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative is committed to training and supporting a group of individuals who come from diverse professional and personal backgrounds, work in a variety of health settings, and are members of communities whose stories are not always represented in dominant health narratives; a group who will put the training into practice in their own communities and be committed to collaborating with others.

This workshop is limited to 40 participants. Narrative Medicine Facilitator Training was originally planned as an in-person weekend event, but was reimagined as a unique online experience. We held our first online training in January 2021, and continue to adapt this experience as more in-person options open up across our cities. During the Fall 2022 course, we plan to offer an in-person cohort, as well as optional in-person activities in Portland, OR. Once registered, participants will have access to digital materials and support.

This program was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities and
the National Endowment for the Humanities, and support from the OHSU Division of Hospital Medicine.

Learn more about the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative at our website

General Registration $250
General Registration + Continuing Education Credit $450
Student Registration $75 (limited number available)

NWNMC is committed to training facilitators from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Sliding fee scale and scholarships available for demonstrated need. Please contact [email protected] to inquire.
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of OHSU School of Medicine and Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative. The OHSU School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit: Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 20.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Who can receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credits? Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants, Certified Nurse Midwife, Licensed Social Workers, Pharmacy (in Oregon).

Important information for Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses. For the purpose of recertification, the American Nurses Credentialing Center accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit issued by organizations accredited by the ACCME. For the purposes of relicensure the Oregon State Board of Nursing accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit for attendance at structured learning activities offered by organizations (in this case OHSU, Division of CME) accredited by the ACCME.

Often researchers, PharmDs, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and Chiropractors can accept the AMA PRA Category 1 Credit TM as an equivalent as long as the topic is relevant to the applicant's field or discipline. If you have doubts whether an activity will qualify for CE, contact your board prior to registering for the course. All other questions regarding CE, please direct to [email protected]
Narrative medicine is a practice in which we recognize, absorb, metabolize, and allow ourselves to be moved by stories of health and illness. Through narrative practice, we recognize, respect, and nourish those affected by illness—patients and caregivers of all kind.
Narrative Medicine is one way to awaken the shared humanity of all people navigating health and illness in our healthcare system. Doing this in community strengthens us individually. NWNMC has a deep interest in bringing the humanities into conversations around health and healing, and to partner with people from communities whose illness experiences are often under told, under heard, or under valued.
Narrative Medicine Facilitator Training teaches the challenging skills of listening, observing, connecting, and leading. Our workshop creates space to practice, strengthen, and renew our empathy and curiosity, which are vital to care and healing. We model our training on "learn one, do one, teach one" by giving attendees experiential learning, collaboration with experts, and supported creative space. After completion of the training, participants will have access to the CollabLAB, a bi-monthly workshop for idea cultivation and collaborative feedback.
We welcome individuals and teams who are interested in learning narrative medicine skills, and who want to put those skills to use by creating and leading narrative medicine experiences in their own environments. We welcome all who want to explore their own stories and lift stories that are often overlooked, recognizing that diverse perspectives strengthen any system.

Our past trainings have included patients, physicians, chaplains, nurse practitioners, advocates, social workers, at home caregivers, scholars, medical scribes, students, veterinarians, educators, medical residents, health system leaders, artists, psychologists, behavior health consultants, trauma informed coaches, actors, playwrights, and more. All are welcome.
If you have questions about the training, please email [email protected]
A Virtual Event hosted on Zoom; with optional in-person workshops
Fora Health
10230 SE Cherry Blossom Dr.
Portland, OR 97216
*participants who register for in-person Saturdays

Backwoods Brewing
231 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
*Saturday, October 29th social

Dates & Times
October 28 - November 11
see full schedule below
Participants will receive a detailed daily schedule closer to the start date of the course.
All times listed are Pacific Standard Time
Friday, October 28
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Setting the Stage for Narrative Competence
Dr. Elizabeth Lahti & Dr. Lisa Schimmel
Corridor Connect
1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Meet other participants in a virtual corridor. This is a virtual space that mimics those chance encounters in the hallways at a live conference.  
BREAK (15 minutes)
Plenary: Attention, Representation, Affiliation
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Dr. Elizabeth Lahti
BREAK (10 minutes)
Small Group Workshop #1: Attention 
2:55 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
*Participants will be assigned to a small group on the first day of training. You will stay with the same small group throughout the course.
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 29
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Plenary: Creating Inclusive Spaces 
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Dr. Estela Vasquez Guzman & Ms. Chrys Buckley
Creative Space: Positionality Through Self Portrait
9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Dr. Grace Haynes & Ms. Lisa Abia-Smith
BREAK (10 minutes) 
Plenary: Collective Knowledge in Health Narratives
11:25 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Dr. Mollie Marr
Corridor Connect
12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
LUNCH BREAK (45 minutes) 
Small Group Workshop #2: Witness
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Narrative Medicine Social
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Backwoods Brewing 
231 NW 11th Ave Portland OR 97209
In person event
Thursday, November 3
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Inward Exploration (optional)
In this facilitated session, participants will have an opportunity to listen to and support one another.
Hosted by Dr. Lisa Schimmel
Friday, November 4
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Plenary: Creating a Narrative Medicine Experience
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Dr. Adam Hoverman
Corridor Connect
1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
BREAK (10 minutes) 
Plenary: Third Object 
2:10 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.
Dr. Mollie Osborne
Corridor Connect
2:55 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.
BREAK (10 minutes)
Small Group Workshop #3: Representation 
3:20 p.m. – 4:50
4:50 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 5
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Plenary: Leading a Narrative Medicine Workshop
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Ms. Alexis Rehrmann
Corridor Connect
9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
BREAK (10 minutes)
Accessible Narrative Medicine Library & Resources
10:10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Ms. Pamela Pierce
BREAK (5 minutes)
Narrative Medicine a la carte (choose one)
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Option #1: Studio Session: Continuing the Creative Process with Lisa Abia-Smith & Grace Haynes
Option #2: Prompt Writing with Elizabeth Lahti
LUNCH BREAK (30 minutes) 
Small Group Workshop #4: Creating YOUR Narrative Medicine Experience
12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m
Sunday-Wednesday, November 6-10
IndependentDraft of original workshop/activity 
Thursday, November 10
5:30 p.m. –7:00 p.m.
Plenary: Holding Space as a Facilitator
5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Dr. Lisa Schimmel
Peer to Peer (optional)
6:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Present original workshop and activity ideas; give and receive feedback
Friday November 11
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
1:00 p.m. –1:10 p.m.
Small Group Workshop #5: Leading Your Narrative Medicine Activity
1:10 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
In this extended session, individuals or pairs will have 30 minutes to present an original narrative medicine activity idea, workshop outline, or component of a longer workshop. There will be several breaks at the discretion of the facilitator.
BREAK (10 minutes)
Closing: Moving Forward 
4:40 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The goal of the NWNMC Facilitator Training is to develop and support a network of narrative medicine facilitators; a group of individuals who come from diverse professional and personal backgrounds, work in a variety of health settings, and are members of communities whose stories are not always represented in dominant health narratives; a group who will put the training into practice in their own communities and be committed to collaborating with others.
At the end of the course participants will be able to
  • Describe narrative medicine and narrative competence
  • Recognize a wide breadth of health narratives including those from underrepresented individuals and communities
  • Participate effectively in workshops with peers from multiple different roles in health care
  • Explain how narrative medicine engages all members of a healthcare team, including patients, family caregivers, and health professionals
  • Recognize and develop narrative competence in oneself and others
  • Develop and lead original narrative medicine activities 
  • Design safe, inclusive, equitable, representative spaces for humane and humanizing interactions
  • Recognize that narrative medicine is an iterative process with co-creation at its core
  • Identify interprofessional peers, resources, and support for ongoing collaboration in the Pacific Northwest region and beyond
  • Create braver and more contemplative space for self and others. 
  • Unpack forms of bias in healthcare interactions.
  • Develop confidence, presence, and selfcare necessary to hold space and be an active facilitator.
Our Team
The Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative (NWNMC) planning team is made up of individuals from many areas of health care. Among us we represent perspectives from health professionals, patients, family caregivers, educators, scholars, equity officers, artists, writers, and leaders. We value the many perspectives our planning team brings to the table, and recognize that here and in our healthcare settings, we must work to flatten hierarchies and lift all voices to create a more just healthcare experience for everyone.
Elizabeth Lahti
Program Director
Elizabeth is Director of Narrative Medicine at OHSU, Assistant Professor in the Division of Hospital Medicine, and President of the NWNMC. She teaches narrative medicine with a focus on identity formation, leadership development, recognizing bias, and patient centered care. She is a former high school teacher, a first generation Peruvian American, a creative writer, and mother of three who often views the world through those lenses. She is poetry editor for The Pharos, a medical humanities journal, founder and leader of the CollabLAB, and a member of the Full Frontal Writing Collective. Her work has been published in Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and The Intima: a Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Pamela Pierce
Program Coordinator
Pam is the Digital Scholarship and Repository Librarian at OHSU. Previously, she served as the Digital Library Coordinator and Archivist for the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University in North Dakota and as an Art Cataloger for the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Her scholarship and research focuses on the history of women within the Health Sciences and the role that images play in creating the mythology of the U.S. West. She has presented nationally on the use of narrative medicine in medical education. She believes in Narrative Medicine as an essential means of emphasizing empathy and understanding through stories.
Dana Ghazi
DEI Consultant
Dana is a trauma-informed practitioner and educator with experience in higher education and international programs focused on peace building initiatives in divided communities. As an immigrant, her work towards social justice is rooted in local to global connections. She has an MA in international and intercultural conflict resolution and peace studies, and has worked in an intercultural psychiatry program serving immigrant and refugee-seeking clients. She has experience as a cultural consultant and actor for community theatre and believes in the healing power of storytelling. As a DEI consultant she will co-create workshops and review content and curriculum with a lens for justice, equity, and inclusion.
Stacy Brewster
Curriculum development
Stacy is an author, poet, speaker, book reviewer, and screenwriter based in Portland, Oregon. He has been a featured speaker, facilitator, and workshop trainer for Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative since 2016, where he has spoken on the intersection of creative practice, queer identify, patient perspectives, and disability. He is a 2019 Oregon Literary Arts Fellow, founder of Launch Creative NW, longtime Write Around Portland facilitator, and featured author in Lambda Literary Most Anticipated LGBTQIA+ Literature in 2021 for his debut short story collection, “What We Pick Up” (Buckman Press). He lives with his husband and their sweet pup in a simple farmhouse built from old growth Oregon timber. 
Grace Haynes
Grace is a family practice physician in Arizona. She has a distinct approach to healing through medicine, art, ministry and compassionate patient care. She has served patients in private practice, as Medical Director for Verve Wellness Center, and as Department Chair of Family Practice at the Thomas Davis Medical Center.  She is an accomplished artist, and has integrated observing and creating art with her experience as a physician to lead workshops for patients, students, and health professionals. She has created and led Humanities Galleries for previous Narrative Medicine Facilitator Trainings, and is a frequent collaborator with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, Oregon. 
Lisa Abia-Smith
Lisa is a Senior Instructor with the University of Oregon School of Planning, Public Policy and Management. She is Director of Educational Outreach at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, where she teaches courses in arts and healthcare, arts management, and accessible arts curriculum development. She directs the Art Heals program bringing art-based activities to patients and medical students in rural communities. Lisa is nationally recognized for her research and teaching on arts in healthcare. She is author of “Preparing the Mind and Learning to See: Art Museums as Training Grounds for Medical Students,” published by Routledge Press. She has created and led Humanities Galleries for previous Narrative Medicine Facilitator Trainings, and is a frequent collaborator with NWNMC.
Sara Guest
Sara was born and raised in Ohio and spent her first 34 years as a Midwesterner, receiving a BA from Miami University, an MA in Literature from Case Western Reserve and an applied degree in writing, publishing and TV production in Chicago working for Encyclopedia Britannica and Harpo Studios. She has lived in Portland since 2004 and is an avid reader, poet, editor, teacher/facilitator and community-builder, volunteering time with Write Around Portland, Literary Arts, the American Leadership Forum of Oregon and various other causes and campaigns. She is founder and director of OK You, a nonprofit that invites people of all ages to engage in creative experiences that inspire a friendlier relationship with worry and fear. Sara is an independent communications consultant.
Chrys Buckley
Chrys completed three years of medical school and recently left the field to pursue endeavors related to creativity, science, and disability awareness. Her pre-med life included working in a remote island camp kitchen, freelance copy-editing, living in India, and seven years at the Portland State University Learning Center where she spent her time as a chemistry tutor, coordinator and supervisor. She has undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry, Micro/Molecular Biology, and Arts & Letters, always trying to find some integration with writing and science. She has been a part of the NWNMC team for three years, and is currently working on a book about her experiences as a disabled medical student, and is helping develop and teach an elective about disability awareness to first-year medical students.
Estela Vasquez Guzman
Estela is Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at OHSU. She trained at the University of New Mexico, where she specialized in medical sociology, race, and ethnicity. She has developed a strong understanding of the diverse factors affecting racial/ethnic health inequities both within and outside of the health care system. As a first generation Latina immigrant indigenous scholar, she aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice from an equity and inclusion perspective because we all win when we have a compassionate, representative, and humanistic healthcare system. Outside of work, you can find Estela running, dancing, hiking, kickboxing and/or doing arts and crafts. She also enjoys traveling and cooking authentic Oaxacan food with her mother and family.
Mollie Marr
Mollie is an MD/PhD student at OHSU. Her PhD is in Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience and her dissertation work focused on the intergenerational transmission of childhood maltreatment. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and as part of her undergraduate work completed training at the Stella Adler Studio, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the Experimental Theatre Wing. She is former president of the national student American Medical Women's Association where she hosted a conference called "Strength Through Stories," and currently a fellow at the prestigious Mirzayan Science & Technology Program at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 
Molly Obsorne
Molly is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at OHSU, previously 18-year Associate Dean of Student Affairs, with over 60 publications including NIH research focusing on asthma epidemiology. She is the Integrated Ethics Program Officer at the VAPORHCS, awarded the national VA William A. Nelson Award in 2015. Her current areas of emphasis are ethics and end-of-life care and with the support, advice and collaborative guidance of the faculty in the Humanities Department at Penn State [Kienle scholar in 2016, 2017] has a forthcoming graphic novel to address ethics. Her graphic narrative, ‘Critical Space,’ was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. She has been a champion of narrative medicine and medical humanities, and is a frequent collaborator with NWNMC.
Lisa Schimmel
Lisa is a licensed clinical psychologist and consultant. She’s been in private practice since last century (1990s) and has been a staff psychologist at Joseph B. Trainer Health and Wellness Center (JBT) and assistant professor in the OHSU Department of Psychiatry since Nov 2011. Her clinical focus includes: life/work transitions, relationship enhancement, personal growth, diversity and LGBTQQ related issues, and managing stress, anxiety, and depression. She is a frequent contributor to NWNMC endeavors. In addition to presenting, Dr. Schimmel holds optional drop-in wellness space for participants during the training. 
Corey Pressman
Corey is a teacher, writer, and artist. He has published poetry, short stories, and academic works; and his artworks have been shown in Portland galleries. He teaches in the University of Portland School of Nursing’s Integrative Health and Wellness program. He is Co-director of University of Portland’s Institute of Vital Practices. Corey is also faculty at the National University of Natural Medicine and The Wayfinding College. He also works as a trauma-informed personal coach with a focus on the cultivation of subjective vitality. He received an MA in Anthropology from Washington State University and is a Certified Trauma Professional and Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional.
Mariam Ukbazghi
Mariam is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategist and Equity Programs Manager at Fora Health. She is an Eritrean American immigrant who grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She has degrees in Biology and Black studies with a goal to develop data-driven equitable systems that center lived experiences, by creating safe spaces for relationship building between interdisciplinary teams, patients, and support systems; promoting education around social justice, including understanding how inequitable outcomes may arise from institutionalized racism and discrimination in policy, program design, organizational practices, and implementation; and engaging the communities that have historically been neglected in the development of these structures.
Darlene Zimbardi
Darlene is a writer, performer, artist, animal lover and advocate for patients and elders. She has been published in a variety of magazines and blogs. Her comedic and illness advocacy work has been performed as staged readings on both coasts. She has a BA in Communications, an MA Theatrical Arts and most recently, MEd in Elementary Education. What drew her to Narrative Medicine is the connection and healing through story. Currently she is working on caregiving guide, A Literary How-to, Never-do Survival Guide for Caregivers: Hints & Humor to Help You Cope. She was a participant in the January 2021 Facilitator Training and then a co-facilitator for the October 2021 course. 
George Derk
George is a medical student at OHSU where he continues to seek out opportunities to teach, including sessions on Narrative Medicine for other medical students. He earned his PhD in English from the University of Virginia where he taught courses ranging from medieval to contemporary literature. He has been part of the Facilitator Training team since it's beginning. 
Adam Hoverman
Adam is a Family Medicine Physician in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health, at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health, and Board Member with the NWNMC. Adam completed his Family Medicine residency at University of Minnesota, and a second residency in Preventive Medicine at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, along with a Masters in Public Health in Health Management and Policy. His research has encompassed health worker capacitation, community participation for strengthening maternal and child health in Ecuador and Peru, the role of shared medical appointments for achieving the quadruple aim, and the co-design, co-creation, and co-production of health and social care.
Zoe Speidel
Zoe works as a Faculty Development Specialist for the Teaching and Learning Center at OHSU. She has a master’s degree in Rhetoric and Writing, a sub-field of English that focuses on the teaching of writing, reading, and other forms of postsecondary and adult literacy. In her current roles, Zoe uses her background in adult pedagogies to develop online courses for the OHSU School of Nursing. Her educational interests include postsecondary literacy education and its intersections with equity and justice, online education, and the role of instructor compassion and “unconditional positive regard” on student success.
When she is not working, you can find her gardening, cooking, hanging out with her dog, reading mysteries, and watching British crime dramas.
If you would like to support a trainee by donating to the cost of tuition, please go to REGISTRATION and select Sponsor a Trainee. 
This program was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National
Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program. Oregon Humanities offers programs and publications that help Oregonians connect, reflect,
and learn from one another. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
 Join us October 28 - November 11
Become a narrative medicine leader in your community.
Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative in a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Mailing address: 2416 SW Vista Ave., Portland, OR 97201

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