April in Narrative Medicine: Creating Trust and Mining Cliché


Online Community of Practice
Tuesday, April 19
Free and open to all please register here!

Creating Trust Through Storytelling 

In our April Community of Practice, we will explore the role of written and graphic stories as a technique to build trust. While there are both stories of trust and distrust in health care, graphic and narrative storytelling offer us tools to create trust through vulnerability and transparency.

Co-facilitator Jennifer Aengst is a medical anthropologist who teaches at Portland State University and conduct qualitative health research at Oregon Health & Science University.

Co-facilitator Dr. Vasquez Guzman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. Estela 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, swimming and/or doing arts and crafts. She also enjoys traveling and cooking authentic Oaxacan food with her mother and family.

Participants in this workshop will be invited to read, write, and discuss. If you require an accommodation, please contact NWNMC at


Seattle Community of Practice
Thursday, April 28
7:00-9:00 PM

Kaiser-Permanente Capitol Hill Campus, 6th Floor
201 16th Ave. E. 
Seattle, WA 98112

Free and open to all please register here! 

The Role of the Cliché

"One day at a time". "Think outside the box". "Ignorance is bliss". These are just examples of the many clichés writers are warned against. 

But what happens if we challenge closely-held literary values like originality and singularity? 

In this Community of Practice, we will mine clichés. We will examine how cliché can function as a source of ritual and connection within recovery and patient narratives. We will write (as author Leslie Jamison describes) worn "patchwork quilt(s) of phrases sewn together," and see if clichés can indeed become a shelter for writer, clinician, and patient alike."

This workshop will be facilitated by Dr Dana Dieringer.

Participants in this workshop will be invited to read, write, and discuss. If you require an accommodation, please contact NWNMC at


New Humanities Research Role: Announcement and Congratulations! 

Lisa Erdman, who many have met through Community of Practice, and Narrative Medicine Facilitator Training, is starting a new two-year President's Postdoctoral Fellowship at Penn State College of Medicine.

Lisa will be working with Dr. Michael Green (graphic medicine) and Dr. Lauren Van Scoy (pulmonary Medicine) to carry out her proposed research, 7 Minutes: An arts-based exploration of the patient-provider relationship. It's a card game with the intent of offering medical students a discussion and role play tool for clinical communication in time-constrained settings.

Her research is hosted by the Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine, in Hershey, PA. Lisa will be the very first Humanities researcher at the College of Medicine. Congratulations, Lisa! 


Our mission is to bring a diverse group of interprofessional health care providers, students, academics, artists, patients and caregivers together to build skills in narrative competence: the ability to recognize, listen to and be moved to action by the stories of others. 

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Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative · 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road · KPV410 · Portland, Or 97239 · USA

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