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 50 participants. Narrative Medicine Facilitator Training was originally planned as an in-person weekend event, but was reimagined as a unique online experience during the pandemic. We continue to adapt this experience to meet the needs of participants with different access needs and ability to travel. This year we will offer more in person experiences during the training in Portland, OR. Participants will have access to pre-course digital materials and support on October 1st.

This program is supported by the OHSU Division of Hospital Medicine.

Learn more about the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative at our website
SOLD OUT--thank you for your interest. The 2023 Fall Narrative Medicine Facilitator Training Course is sold out, and we have closed our waitlist. 

General Registration $250
General Registration + Continuing Education Credit* $500
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.
You may cancel at any time. Refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:
Full before August 15
50% before September 15
No refunds after September 15
*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 18.5 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 plenaries offer succinct insights into theory and research, while the small group workshops create space to practice, strengthen, and renew our empathy and curiosity. We model our training on "learn one, do one, teach one" by giving attendees experiential learning, collaboration with experts, and supported creative space. After completing the training, participants will be able to register for the CollabLAB, a monthly workshop space 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, patient advocates, social workers, at home caregivers, scholars, medical scribes, students, veterinarians, educators, medical residents, health system leaders, writers, artists, psychologists, behavioral 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 in Portland, Oregon. Location TBA.
Dates & Times
October 20 - November 3
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. Optional in person events are indicated in RED. 
Friday, October 20
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Welcome & Plenary: Setting the Stage for Narrative Competence
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Dr. Elizabeth Lahti
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 (5 minutes)
Plenary: Attention, Representation, Affiliation
1:50 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.
Dr. Elizabeth Lahti
BREAK (10 minutes)
Small Group Workshop #1: Attention 
2:45 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.
Narrative Medicine Social (optional)
In person event
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Backwoods Brewing
231 NW 11th Ave Portland OR 97209
Saturday, October 21
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m.- 9:10 a.m.
Plenary: Creating Inclusive Spaces 
9:10 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.
Dr. Estela Vasquez Guzman & Ms. Chrys Buckley
BREAK (5 minutes)
Creative Space: Positionality Through Self Portrait
10:00 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
Dr. Grace Haynes & Ms. Lisa Abia-Smith
BREAK (10 minutes)
Corridor Connect
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
LUNCH BREAK (30 minutes)
Plenary: Collective Knowledge in Health Narratives
12:15 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.
Dr. Mollie Marr
BREAK (5 minutes)
Small Group Workshop #2: Witness
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 26
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, October 27
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.
Plenary: Third Object 
1:10 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.
Dr. Molly Osborne
Corridor Connect
1:55 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
BREAK (5 minutes)
Small Group Workshop #3: Representation
2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Author Event with Melanie Brooks (optional)
In person event
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Lucky Labrador Brew Pub
915 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

In this interactive lecture, author Melanie Brooks will read selected excerpts from her newly released book A Hard Silence, a chronicle of one family’s experience with HIV/AIDS in the 1980s. 
Saturday, October 28
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.
Plenary: Leading a Narrative Medicine Workshop
9:10 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Ms. Alexis Rehrmann
Q&A with Alexis Rehrmann
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Corridor Connect
10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
BREAK (15 minutes)
Small Group Workshop #4: Creating YOUR Narrative Medicine Experience
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
LUNCH (30 minutes)
Plenary: Holding Space as a Facilitator
12:45 p.m. –1:30 p.m.
Dr. Lisa Schimmel
Narrative Medicine a la carte 
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Participants will select one of the following online options
a. Studio Session: Continuing the Creative Process with Lisa Abia-Smith & Grace Haynes
b. Mapping your Narrative Medicine Journey with Adam Hoverman
c. Writing Tough Stories with Melanie Brooks
2:45 p.m. -3:00 p.m.
Narrative Medicine Zine Workshop (Optional)
In person event
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Independent Publishing Resource Center
318 SE Main St., Portland, OR

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about a variety of zines and discuss how these might be used in their own Narrative Medicine sessions. Led by Ms. Maria Cunningham, OHSU Special Collections Librarian
Sunday-Wednesday, October 29-November 1
Draft of original workshop/activity
Thursday, November 2
5:30 p.m. –7:00 p.m.
Peer to Peer (optional)
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Present original workshop and activity ideas; give and receive feedback
Friday Nov 3
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. –1:15 p.m.
Small Group Workshop #5: Leading Your Narrative Medicine Activity
1:15 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 may be 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 
  • 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 Narrative Medicine Facilitator Training planning team is made up of individuals from many areas of health care, at different stages of our careers. 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 all 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 (she/her) is Assistant Professor and Director of Narrative Medicine at OHSU, and Co-founder of the NWNMC. She is a former highschool teacher, first generation Peruvian American, creative writer, and mother of three who often views the world through those lenses. She is poetry editor for The Pharos, 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 Intima.
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. She has presented nationally on the use of narrative medicine in medical education, and believes in Narrative Medicine as an essential means of emphasizing empathy and understanding through stories.
Loeka Wiltz
planning committee
Kahu Loeka (he/him/kāne) is a Keeper (Kahu) of Aboriginal Hawaiian Aloha Va Mana Wellness Principles and Medicinal Cultural Neuroeconomic Practices. He teaches an integrative mana workshop at the San Antonio Botanical Garden which integrates ancient Hawaiian healing protocols with narrative medicine, interplay and slow medicine. Narrative Medicine found him as he fully accepted his inherited mana after years of being a healthcare practitioner (Flight Medic, Nurse, Healthcare Administrator, Public Health Educator and Environmental Health Project Manager).
Nancy E. Young
planning committee
Nancy (she/her) is an interculturalist, writer, trainer, and advocate. She has an MA in Creative Writing, an MA in Intercultural Relations, and a Fulbright to Japan. Her career in higher education centers on advising international students, which has deeply influenced her. Other life-shaping experiences include participating in school integration in the south, personal encounters with the health care system, and meandering in Oregon’s beauty.  Nancy is enthusiastic about Narrative Medicine and looks forward to meeting and supporting workshop participants.
Aniqa Azim
planning committee
Aniqa (she/her) is a chief resident in Internal Medicine at OHSU. During training, Aniqa  co-facilitated a narrative medicine group for the Internal Medicine residency program. Her work has been presented at the NW Regional Society of General Internal Medicine conference and published in Intima. Aniqa’s key interests are the role of the humanities in bringing humanism to healthcare and the power of narrative reflection as means to process pain and illness. Aniqa enjoys running and hiking in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.
Lane Baldwin
planning committee
Lane is a pediatric hospitalist in Portland, OR. She received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina, and residency in pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
During her training, she became increasingly interested in the stories of her patients and their families, and started to incorporate narrative medicine into her practice, using storytelling as a way to connect with her patients and understand their experiences.
She teaches medical students and residents about the importance of narrative medicine, and encourages them to develop their own skills in listening and storytelling.
Outside of the hospital, Dr. Baldwin enjoys exploring the beautiful PNW outdoors.
Pramita Kuruvilla
planning committee
Pramita (she/her) earned her medical degree at Yale and spent 15 years at a safety-net hospital as a Clinician Educator, Intensivist, and Bioethics Committee Chair. She is Founder and CEO of SoulFoodMD, a life + career coaching business. She volunteered with Médecins Sans Frontières and serves on their DEI Council. After a mid-career pivot, she is an Associate Professor in the UCSF Division of Palliative Medicine, where she loves to blend narrative medicine opportunities into clinical teaching, and she completed the NWNMC Facilitator Training in Fall 2022. In her spare time, she slurps boba and makes art with her toddlers.
Christine Mosbaugh
planning committee
Christine (she/her/ella) is a Communication and Strategy Manager with a Community Health Center. She has worked in health care settings that include speciality care, academic medicine research, community engagement work, and primary care delivery.
She completed the NWNMC Facilitator Training in Fall 2022, and several Columbia University Narrative Medicine weekend intensives. She integrates narrative concepts and close looking with other trainings to create more trauma aware, engaging, and responsive spaces for care and well-being.

Tejal Pandya
planning committee
Tejal (she/her) is a dog mom and general surgeon who arrived at Narrative Medicine after challenging experiences within the health care system. Participating in the 2022 NWNM Facilitator training brought the long neglected joy of writing and group reflection back to the forefront, and she is delighted to return this year for the planning committee. She hopes with time to share this practice with colleagues and students in an effort to normalize making  space for nurturing  the caregivers among us in the environments where we work. 
Marina Vladova
planning committee
Marina facilitates narrative medicine workshops in hospitals, cancer support centers, hospices, medical schools, and veterans housing facilities. She was drawn to narrative medicine after volunteering for ODH’s first COVID-19 prevalence study in 2020, and is interested in how narrative medicine can be used to cultivate interprofessional teams. Marina holds an MEd, and an MPH, and has designed and taught humanities classes at Northeast Ohio Medical University, and Kent State University.  Marina was born in Odesa, Ukraine and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She loves gooseberries, Walt Whitman, slide guitar, and “The Secret” by Denise Levertov is one of her favorite poems.
Featured Speakers
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.
Melanie Brooks
Melanie is the author of Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma (Beacon Press, 2017) and the forthcoming memoir, A Hard Silence: One Daughter Remaps Family, Grief, and Faith When HIV/AIDS Changes It All (Vine Leaves Press, 2023). She teaches writing at Northeastern University and narrative medicine in the MFA program at Bay Path University. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction and is currently completing a Certificate of Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Psychology Today, the HuffPost, the Washington Post, Creative Nonfiction, and other notable publications. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two children (when they are home from college), and two labs.
Chrys Buckley
Chrys completed three years of medical school before leaving to pursue endeavors related to creativity, science, and disability advocacy. Her pre-med life included working in a remote island camp kitchen, freelance copy-editing, and working for seven years at the Portland State University Learning Center as a chemistry tutor and tutoring coordinator. She has undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry, Micro/Molecular Biology, and Arts & Letters. Her writing has appeared in The Sun, Shark Reef, and Aerial. She joined the NWNMC team in 2020, and is currently working on several books, including one about her experiences as a disabled medical student. She’s helping develop and teach courses about disability awareness to medical students.
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. 
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.
Mollie Marr
Mollie earned her MD/PhD 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." She began psychiatry residency training in July 2023 at the Mass General Hospital McLean program.
Molly Osborne
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. 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.
Alexis Rehrmann
Alexis is a writer, editor, and storyteller in Portland, Oregon who has incorporated elements of Narrative Medicine throughout much of her writing. Her journalistic work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Portland Monthly Magazine, and PDX Parent. She’s co-written a memoir of trauma (not her own), and a memoir about masculinity (also not her own). She has performed her stories onstage at events including BackFencePDX and The Interstitium. Alexis studied theater directing at N.Y.U worked a 5-year stint in corporate digital and social media content marketing, and currently coordinates the Lewis & Clark Center for Community and Global Health. She has a NM Certificate through Columbia University. 
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. 
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.
 Join us October 20 - November 3
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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