Skip to content

The Philadelphia Inquirer invites you to our virtual health writing seminar for patients and practitioners. Professionals and patients, caregivers, and advocates come together for this one-of-a-kind event to help you process, share, and elevate your health stories and experiences.

Over the course of the day, our local panelists of healthcare experts will share their knowledge of the power of writing and storytelling - and teaching how you can do it, too.

Free access to this year’s event provided by our sponsors: Presenting Sponsor Independence Blue Cross and Sponsor Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

How to participate:

If you have a question, comment or want to submit your writing sample please use the comments section at the bottom of this page.

You must be logged in to your account to submit a question. Login or create a free account using the “Sign In/Sign Up” button in the top right corner of the event page.

Conference Schedule

The following schedule is a list of sessions and workshops on Friday, Nov. 12:

10 - 10:45 a.m.: Finding Your Narrative

Our first session starts with a popular pen-to-paper workshop led by Temple University emergency physician and narrative medicine Naomi Rosenberg, who this year will present with Pulitzer Prize-winning former Inquirer journalist Michael Vitez, who now directs Temple’s narrative medicine program

11 - 11:45 a.m.: Philly’s Other Pandemic

Addiction peer specialists will explain how telling personal stories is how they help people to achieve and maintain recovery — an effort made even more difficult by pandemic isolation.

Noon - 1 p.m.: Lunch Break

1 - 1:45 p.m.: Why Does Narrative Medicine Matter?

Rita Charon, the physician credited with founding the narrative medicine movement and who is chair of medical humanities and ethics at Columbia University, joins TYHS to discuss why Narrative Medicine matters. She’ll explain why narrative medicine is more essential than ever for so many reasons, among them, teaching health care providers to become better listeners for their patients.

Among her many books: Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness.

2 - 2:45 p.m.: Nursing Through the Pandemic

Three Philadelphia nurses share their experiences working through the pandemic and how telling their stories helped them process feelings of burnout. Among them: Tiffany Montgomery, who turned her story slam contribution to last year’s conference into an article on why diversity in nursing school faculty means better health outcomes.

3 - 3:45 p.m.: The Contagion Next Time

Inquirer assistant managing editor and health editor Charlotte Sutton will interview Sandro Galea, dean of Boston University School of Public Health, on his new book, The Contagion Next Time, where he challenges readers to examine how we can create a healthier, more equitable post-COVID society.

4 - 5 p.m.: A New Health Story for Philadelphia

Our keynote event will feature perhaps the most visible face of health care in Philadelphia during COVID-19: Ala Stanford, physician and founder of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. Inquirer columnist Jenice Armstrong will talk with Stanford about the many stories she has heard and shared over the last 20 months as she’s worked to promote health and wellness for the city’s most vulnerable residents. And she’ll share what’s happening now at her new Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity.

See more live interviews with top newsmakers