Who We Are
Pam Belli, MBA
Elizabeth Magassy Dorn
Cirila Estela Vasquez Guzman, PhD
The mission of Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative is to bring health care professionals, patients, clinicians, caregivers, students, academics, artists, artists, and scholars together, to build, sustain and promote a regional narrative medicine community.
How We Began
In 2014, April Brenneman googled “Portland Narrative Medicine” and found Elizabeth Lahti, the newly appointed director of narrative medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.
April, the mother of a cancer survivor, told Elizabeth the story of how one day she pulled her son’s X-rays from the kitchen drawer and started painting over them, using vibrant colors that she felt represented who her child really was. April used art and writing to understand the experience of her son’s illness, and wanted to know more about narrative medicine.
Elizabeth, a physician educator and mother herself, connected with April. Together, they imagined a space where physicians and patients could meet each other as humans, to better understand the multiple perspectives that contribute to the experience of illness and healing. Read the full story here.
Today, Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative is a diverse group joined together in a grassroots effort to create community and connection, with a goal to flatten the hierarchies of health. Together, we engage in conversation and explore narratives of health, illness, and caretaking. We believe this work makes us better doctors, nurses, social workers, patients, family members, caregivers, chaplains, scholars, educators, and humans.