Which tools in the creative writer’s tool box should be and are accessible to those who tell stories to promote awareness, bring about change and improve quality of life? How do storytelling (and journalism) ethics intersect with and differ from ethics in global public health? What lessons does the creative process hold for empathetic and effective medical and public health practice? These are the questions that animate Lise Saffran’s research and pedagogy into public health humanities. As the Director of the Master of Public Health Program at the University of Missouri, she conducts research into the effects of storytelling on perceptions of risky health behavior and cultural influences on health and teaches the course Storytelling in Public Health and Public Policy.

Recent and upcoming presentations include:

Keynote: Who Owns the Stories of our Lives? A reading and reflection with Lise Saffran. The Glasgow Center for the Humanities, Texas A&M. April 25, 2022.

  • Panel: “What is global health humanities? Scope of an emerging field in global health.” Consortium of Universities for Global Health, Chicago, IL March 11, 2019.
  • Talk: “Public Health Storytelling: What is it and why does it matter?” Examined Life Conference: Writing, Humanities and the Art of Medicine. Iowa City, Iowa. October 27–29, 2018.
  • Workshop:  “Imagine That: A Workshop Exploring Creative Writing in the Health Humanities,” International Health Humanities Consortium Conference: Frankenstein@200, Stanford University, CA April 2018
  • Keynote: Emotional Life: Creative writing and public health. Midcontinental Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MCMLA) Annual meeting, themed “Show Me One Health.”  October 10, 2017.