Everyone has a story, and the personal journeys of patient partners are at the very heart of the Can-SOLVE CKD Network. These perspectives and experiences continue to shape our research and motivate everything we do.

Patient stories carry tremendous power for change in health care and research. However, patient partners are often asked to share their stories with little time to prepare and without a full understanding of the goal or context.

To help network members gain the skills and confidence to share their stories in a health care setting, Can-SOLVE CKD has launched a new online training program. “Storytelling for Impact” is a six-week online workshop that provides patient partners with coaching and tools to support compelling and impactful storytelling.

With the support of trained facilitators and story coaches, participants in the module are encouraged to identify key “moments of care” in their kidney journeys. They are provided with techniques and resources to bring those experiences to life in a relatable and engaging way for different audiences.

The workshop is delivered via video-conferencing in a group-learning environment that allows participants to practice writing and narrating their stories in a supportive setting and receive valuable peer feedback.  By the end of the workshop, participants will have prepared one written story and gained a deeper understanding of what it means to tell health care stories.

“The storytelling module put me in a setting with my peers who have had similar experiences, and I was able to finally find a place where everybody knew what I’ve been through and how I felt while going through it.”
Arlene Desjarlais

“The most valuable part of the course was understanding the process of telling ‘impactful stories’ and incorporating feedback to help tell my story in a clearer, concise way.”
Cathy Woods

The module is led by Can-SOLVE CKD patient partners and staff who have previously completed the training, with support from story coaches Selina Allu and Leah Getchell. This design is intended to be self-sustaining – as more patient partners and staff members complete the workshop, they will be able to train other network members.

To date, six patient partners have completed the workshop. Building on this initial success, the network aims to increase the number of trained storytellers in 2019. The Can-SOLVE CKD Curriculum Training & Mentorship Committee is currently exploring online approaches and tools that will support future workshops.

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