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Lenoir-Rhyne University co-hosts "Medicine Beyond Medication" symposium Oct. 18-19
Lenoir-Rhyne University co-hosts "Medicine Beyond Medication" symposium Oct. 18-19

Lenoir-Rhyne University, in partnership with Mountain Area Health and Education Center, will host an inaugural narrative healthcare symposium, Friday Oct. 18, to Saturday, Oct. 19, in Asheville, North Carolina. The event, funded by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, is tailored to healthcare practitioners in surgery, general practice, nursing, counseling, and public health to learn how story defines their work and how it can support their well-being.

At 7 p.m, Oct. 18, physician and literary scholar Dr. Rita Charon will be the distinguished guest. Charon is the founder of the narrative medicine program at Columbia University in New York and also the 2019 Jefferson Scholar of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the author of "Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness" and "Stories Matter: The Role of Narrative in Medical Ethics." Her work has influenced many medical schools to incorporate narrative medicine into clinical training. She also inspired Lenoir-Rhyne's unique online narrative healthcare program for healthcare professionals who have completed clinical education.

On Saturday, Oct. 19, a panel of practitioners from across all fields of healthcare will tell their experiences of using story in their work. All panelists were trained through LR's narrative healthcare program. Thoracic surgeon and author Daniel J. Waters launched his own program at the Mason Clinic in Mason City, Iowa. According to Waters, he started the program after he discovered the benefits of incorporating narrative practice into saving lives.

Breakout sessions based on the area of practice will follow the panel. Each session will present the evidence-based practices Charon formulated with her team at Columbia University. These practices prepare clinicians to listen, attend to, interpret, metabolize, and be moved by stories. In addition to being proven to improve outcomes, narrative practice also reduces burn-out and moral injury.

Dr. Jeff Heck, MAHEC chief executive officer, will present a lunch keynote, sharing how he includes story both in his medical practice and medical education. The afternoon will conclude with several sessions addressing topics in the healthcare industry.

The cost for day one is $50; day two is $150 or $180 for both days. Registration opened August 15 at narrativehealthcare.net.

In addition to the narrative healthcare certification, LR offers a Master of Arts in Writing to provide professionals the opportunity to earn a graduate degree. To offer flexibility, courses are offered both online and face-to-face through a 36 credit hour program. The certificate is 12 hours. To learn more about the symposium or Lenoir-Rhyne's programs, visit lr.edu/writing or contact Laura Hope-Gill, assistant professor of writing, at laura.hopegill@lr.edu or 828.407.4268.