Board Members

Eden Bainter is an executive assistant/project manager for Northwest Permanente, P.C. (Kaiser Permanente’s physician group), where she enjoys making connections between big ideas and smart implementation. For many years she was education director for the literary arts nonprofit, Wordstock, and helped execute their annual literary festival, the largest celebration of writers and readers in the Pacific Northwest. She has also collaborated with the Oregon Women’s History Consortium, Willamette Writers, and the Montavilla Farmer’s Market. After growing up in Walla Walla, WA, she studied government and women’s studies at Smith College. Eden coordinates NWNMC’s monthly Community of Practice and believes that stories, authentically given and received, are the most interesting part of being alive, period.

Stephanie Cooper, M.D., believes that stories are the currency of human experience.  Before she was a doctor, she was a journalist, using the written word to bring voice and awareness to human interest and environmental stories. As a medical student, she recognized that stories were integral to maintaining the very humanity that impelled students to the field of medicine, and the need for a parallel practice to both build and bridge narrative and clinical skills.  As a result, she conceptualized and taught “Mind, Body, and Pen:  Writing and the Art of Becoming a Physician.”  During residency, at the University of California Davis, she co-taught reflective writing courses with patients.  Upon returning to Seattle, she utilized process writing to teach medical students techniques to break bad news.  In addition, she has facilitated several Narrative Medicine workshops at University of Washington for both residents and faculty members.  Desiring a deeper understanding of Narrative Medicine, Stephanie attended the Masters in Narrative Medicine program at Columbia University.   She is currently an Emergency Medicine physician with Kaiser Permanente in Seattle, Washington, and a mother of two vibrant 7-year old boys who love a good story. 

Elizabeth Magassy Dorn, M.D., an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Washington believes in the fundamental role of art to keep us connected to ourselves and others, and to bridge the gap of communication not expressed through normal channels of daily human discourse.  Lifelong visual artist, sometime poetry writer, and active practitioner in local theater community, she recently wrote and performed 2 solo performance pieces depicting her journey through the medical world.  After attending both NWNMC annual conferences, Dr. Dorn and the University of Washington faculty development group CLIME, co-hosted the first Narrative Medicine Workshop and Grand Rounds by members of NWNMC, Drs. Elizabeth Lahti and Martha Driessnack. With ambitions to start a Seattle expansion of NWNMC, intergrate NM activities into bedside clinical teaching at the UW, and bring art, depth and fun into medicine more actively, she and her colleagues have started a Community of Practice and host quarterly medical story telling events to open this out to the greater interprofessional community.

Daena Goldsmith, Ph.D., is a professor of Rhetoric & Media Studies at Lewis & Clark College, where she researches and teaches about how we enact identities and relationships through what we say and how we say it. Her work focuses on interactions from everyday life, including the conversations we have with a spouse or partner, the advice we give to friends and family, and the stories we tell face-to-face and online. Her research has examined how couples talk about lifestyle change in the wake of a cardiac episode, how couples support one another when one partner is treated for cancer, and how mothers of autistic children tell their stories.  Additional information is available at

Rebecca Harrison, M.D., believes in the power of story to express experiences in healthcare and also to heal. She is inspired by the blending of art and science to tell our stories and believes in many paths to health and healing. She is a clinician educator, hospitalist, clerkship director and section chief in the Division of Hospital Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. In these roles, she has a unique opportunity to create culture change and promote more compassionate medical care for diverse patients, providers and learners. Dr. Harrison has facilitated narrative medicine, reflection rounds and resiliency training skills within the OHSU School of Medicine. She has published a variety of articles on medical education, hospital medicine and part-time careers and has presented at local, national and international venues on a variety of medical education and faculty wellness topics.

Adam Hoverman, D.O., M.P.H., D.T.M.H., is a Family Medicine and Public Health Physician with Multnomah County Health Department, where he combines primary care and public health practice caring for Immigrant and Refugee populations. He started as a paramedic in rural Northern California, before entering medical school at A.T. Still University, in Kirksville, Missouri, motivated to study osteopathy by Dr. Still’s pithy phrase, “the objective of the physician is to find health; anyone can find disease.” Adam completed Family Medicine Residency at the University of Minnesota, and worked with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic before completing a Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Most recently Adam has completed 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, teaching, and writing focuses on health systems strengthening via Community-Based Participatory Research and Community Health Worker training for improving Maternal and Child Health and Indigenous Health, program evaluation for Global Health training programs, and the co-production, co-creation, and co-design of health and social care. He facilitates narrative medicine small groups for students and health care workers, and writes poetry in his spare time.

Zachary Jacobs, M.D., is a clinical and teaching hospitalist who believes that compassionate care and patient-centered medicine are enhanced by a familiarity with narrative. He is driven by his passion for stories, and aspires to capture and recount their beauty through creative writing, photography, and visual arts. He received a bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon, and his medical degree from Oregon Health Science University. He completed his Internal Medicine residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he enrolled in the Global Health & Underserved Populations Track, affording him the opportunity to work with underserved populations in both the Navajo Nation as well as Malawi, Africa. He then completed an Academic Hospital Medicine Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco where he incorporated a narrative medicine curriculum into the global scholars field work.  Personally he uses narrative to process emotions and to bear witness to patient suffering. He also teaches reflective practice to medical trainees as a means of fostering well-being, empathy, and personal growth. His writing has been published in the Journal of General Internal MedicineAnnals of Global HealthHektoen International, Blood & Thunder, and the Journal of the SF Marin Medical Society.

Elizabeth Lahti, M.D., is a Portland-area clinical and teaching hospitalist. She is the Director of Narrative Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine; and, she designed and co-facilitates the first upper level interprofessional course, Narrative Competence for Health Professionals, through the Interprofessional Education (IPE) Initiative at OHSU. She teaches narrative medicine and reflective practice to trainees and faculty with a particular interest in identity formation and resilience through story. She believes that micro-generational storytelling between students, residents and practicing physicians contributes to professional fulfillment and well-being. She co-founded Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative so that patients, caregivers, family members, health professionals, and artists could explore the experience of illness and care giving in a nurturing, non-hierarchal environment. Dr. Lahti is a member of the Full Frontal Writing Collective, a group of writers who meet weekly to practice and support each other in writing endeavors. Her writing has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Intima: A journal of narrative medicine, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and the Elohi Gaduji Journal.

Katy Liljeholm is a theatre director and writing teacher who transplanted to Portland from Ohio. She’s worked as a director, stage manager and puppeteer at local theatres, including Tears of Joy, Teatro de Milagro, Profile Theatre, Portland Actors’ Ensemble, New Century Players, Beaverton Civic Theatre and others. She was Artistic Director of Well Arts from 2010-2014, and taught playwriting workshops at the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Washington County, the Northwest Down Syndrome Association, Hollywood Senior Center, REACH CDC, Friendly House, Homewoods and other locations, presenting her work at conferences including the Society for Arts in Healthcare, Timpanogos Storytelling Festival and OHSU’s Health Aging Alliance. She currently provides oral history services for palliative care patients through Legacy Health Services, teaches family history and memoir writing classes at local community centers and is pursuing her Masters in Arts in Health at University of Florida. You can find her online at

Ellen Michaelson, M.D., M.F.A., is a Portland physician and writer. She is the founder of HealthMax Primary Care, a Narrative Medicine practice in NW Portland. She was an NEH Fellow in Medical Humanities and has an MFA in Writing. It has been a long-standing interest of Ellen to see narrative medicine come to life in Portland. On faculty in the Division of General Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, she is joined each year by medical students who shadow her and take part in patient care. She has run writing workshops for medical students and for patients with chronic illnesses, and looks forward to involving the larger community in our shared stories.

Alexis Rehrmann 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 is currently co-writing 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 and recently completed a 5-year stint in corporate digital and social media content marketing. She is currently working towards her Narrative Medicine Certificate through Columbia University. She is the chair of the NWNMC Communications Committee.


  • President: Elizabeth Lahti
  • Vice-President: Ellen Michaelson
  • Secretary: Daena Goldsmith
  • Treasurer: Zachary Jacobs