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Healthcare in CO: Everybody has a Story

December 20, 2010

DENVER - Stories to put in the bank might help ensure better health-care quality and access for everyone. Starting next year, Coloradans will be invited to record their health-related stories, which will be categorized and shared with the public.

Gretchen Hammer, executive director of the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, says they want to hear about it all - whether it was a painful experience, a journey of remarkable healing, or even details about dealing with a chronic condition.

"We'll help Coloradans tell their own health stories, and share these stories to engender a sense of common humanity and a shared priority of equal access to health."

Each person who shares a story will receive a CD for their own personal history records, as well.

Hammer says stories can be powerful in promoting the understanding of needs based on geographic location, health status, age, income, and race and ethnicity.

"Through the collection of all kinds of stories about all kinds of people's experience of health, we can begin to remind ourselves across our communities that we all share a common experience when it comes to our health."

The Colorado Rural Health Center, ClinicNET, and Hammer's organization will be putting together the "story corps" project with funding from The Colorado Trust and the Colorado Health Foundation. The project will include a comparison of the stories with statistics, to see if what people say matches up with what researchers have discovered.

Recording is expected to begin in March.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - CO