New grant expands Accessible Narrative Medicine

Medical humanities at OHSU and beyond are getting a boost, thanks to $46K in grant funding from the State Library of Oregon and the Library Services and Technology Act Program. The funding will support the OHSU Library and the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative (NWNMC) in expanding and improving Accessible Narrative Medicine, a digital library of images and curricula.

The practice of narrative medicine applies the analysis of art, literature and other creative works to hone providers’ patient communication skills and to center the humanity of people navigating illness. The Accessible Narrative Medicine project explores challenging health questions, and emphasizes the narratives of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and persons living with disabilities, to foster more equitable healthcare settings for all.

Accessible Narrative Medicine functions as a resource for the NWNMC ‘s annual Narrative Medicine Facilitator Trainings, as well as in intersessions in the OHSU School of Medicine, and for those who wish to bring narrative medicine to their own communities and classrooms. The community engaged NWNMC site and OHSU’s Digital Collections will work in tandem to host the materials.

Six people stand smiling outdoors in front of a building and trees
Accessible Narrative Medicine project team, from left to right: Elizabeth Lahti (School of Medicine), Sara Guest (curriculum developer), Stacy Brewster (curriculum developer), Chrys Buckley (curiculum developer), Pamela Pierce (Library), Dana Ghazi (Center for Diversity and Inclusion). Not pictured: Lisa Abia Smith (University of Oregon).

The digital library encompasses a range of learning objects, including:

  • An excerpt from Citizen by Claudia Rankine
  • “Little Prayer,” a poem by Danez Smith
  • “Ignore=Fear,” street poster art by Keith Haring

The Accessible Narrative Medicine project team includes Pamela Pierce, Digital Scholarship and Repository Librarian, Dr. Elizabeth Lahti, Director of Narrative Medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine, and Dana Ghazi from OHSU’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. The grant is awarded by the State Library of Oregon through its federally funded Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Program, administered on the national level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Grants to States Program.

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