The North Carolina Humanities Council joins MAHEC and Lenoir-Rhyne University Narrative Healthcare Program in presenting the first North Carolina Statewide Narrative Healthcare Symposium

Register now:


-draw from the Humanities means of addressing social determinants of health

-interpret literary texts and works of art to build listening skills and self-awareness

-activate cost-efficient system-change through narrative practice

-develop interpretive skills through close attention


Friday October 18 “The Humanities Have What Medicine Needs”

Dr. Rita Charon, M.D. 7 pm

Founder of Program in Narrative Medicine

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson Fellow

Saturday October 19

9 a.m. Coffee and Gathering

9:30 a.m. Stories in Healthcare: Dr. Daniel J. Waters, D.O. Thoracic Surgery

10:30 am  Introduction of Facilitators and launch of break-out groups. Our team of facilitators represents many facets of the medical field, face often seen rushing past in a hall or through the concealment of a surgical mask. Facilitators will guide members of their own fields through exercises in Narrative Medicine, Medical Humanities, Expressive Arts, and Poetic Medicine.

Morning Breakouts Groups will be led by teams from different fields within healthcare. This is a variation from the original plan.

Group 1: Cynthia Yancey, MD Family Medicine, Laurie Hon Kovens, MSW, LCSW
Group 2: Tanya Davis, MA, Alexandra Godfrey, PA
Group 3: Daniel J. Waters, D.O. Thoracic Surgery, Terri Price, Pastor
Group 4: Amy Upham MPH, Cathy DeMatteo, R.N.

12-12:30: Lunch

12:30-1:30: Keynote by Dr. Jeff Heck, MD, CEO of MAHEC

2 p.m.-3 p.m. Afternoon Sessions led by facilitators addressing current topics:

For these sessions, we will move outside specific fields and collaborate to address the issues that we all face with interdisciplinary teams of facilitators.  In these workshops, participants will experience how narrative technique supports healthcare by opening our eyes to what often lies beyond the frame.

Session 2:A
Changing the Narrative: Themes and Challenges in Healthcare’s Turn Toward Social Determinants of Health: Laurie Kovens, LCSW, MSW; Cynthia Yancey, MD; Tanya Davis, MA

Session 2:B
Finding Our Stories: From Stress to Reflection for Emotional Sustainability in Healthcare: Kathy DeMatteo, RN, MSN; Terri Price, M.Div.

Session 2:C
Moral Injury and Burnout; Alexandra Godfrey, MS, PA-C, Daniel J. Waters, D.O., Amy Upham, MPH

Panel Members and Break-Out Group Facilitators

All facilitators have completed Narrative Healthcare training at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Social Workers Facilitator: Laurie Hon Kovens, M.S.W., MFA Candidate. Lenoir-Rhyne Narrative Healthcare and Writing Program and Tanya Davis, M.S.W., M.A.,  Lenoir-Rhyne Narrative Healthcare and Writing Program

Chaplains Facilitators: Terri Price, Lenoir-Rhyne University Narrative Healthcare

Physician Assistants Facilitator: Alexandra Godfrey, M.S., P.A.-C, Wake Forest Baptist, Emergency Medicine, Lenoir-Rhyne University Narrative Healthcare and Writing Program

Nurses Facilitator: Cathy DeMatteo, Nurse Manager at Johnson City V.A. Hospital, Lenoir-Rhyne University Narrative Healthcare Certificate

Surgeons Facilitator: Dr. Daniel J. Waters, D.O. M.A., Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Mason City Clinic, Iowa, Award-winning Fiction Author and Memoirist, Graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University Narrative Healthcare and Writing Program

General Practitioner Facilitator: Dr. Cynthia Yancey, M.D., WNCHS,  Lenoir-Rhyne Narrative Healthcare Certificate Program

Public Health Facilitator: Amy Upham, MPH, Lenoir-Rhyne Narrative Healthcare Certificate Program

3:15 p.m. Closing Plenary: A New Story for Medicine in WNC presented by Laura Hope-Gill, MFA