Noted National Expert Discusses How “Storytelling” Project Impacted Veterans, Changed VA Healthcare

National “storytelling” expert Thor Ringler, MFA, MS, provided an inspiring Veterans Day program for physicians, medical students, and other health care providers. Ringler has run the My Life, My Story program at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, since 2013. In that time the program has recorded life stories of more than 2,000 veterans — and placed the short biographies in each vets’ electronic medical record. Ringler will discuss this project and how it has impacted care at the VA Health System.

Veterans have compelling and deeply moving stories to tell — stories that may shed greater light on their overall health status. In addition to honoring their military service, these stories give voice to each Veteran’s unique life experience, often yielding clinical information that might otherwise go undetected. By helping Veterans connect their stories with their VA health care providers and inpatient and primary care teams, My Life My Story supports more effective patient-centered care.

The program is sponsored by Cooper University Health Care and Deborah Heart and Lung Center as part of the organizations’ joint HeroCare Connect program. Learn more about how Cooper is committed to serving those who have served our country.

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