The Benefits of Using Empathy and Story Telling to Change Health Care

Thought leaders like Ashoka and NPR are currently engaging people in empathy building and storytelling. Last spring I went to a conference where a senior staffer at Ashoka began discussing their (at the time) new idea about building empathy, as a means to drive understanding and build public will. People nodded their heads but had plenty of questions about how do you actually go about doing it.

Today Alicia Haywood gives you the scoop on how to get it done.

This is a story about how an organization is building public will to drive change in health care delivery and access in Colorado. In the second video Alicia shares specifically how they go past raising awareness to action in a community based/relevant manner.

Watch the interviews on my Vimeo Channel:

Important pearls of story telling wisdom in the videos:

  • How you get people past the “that’s your problem” mentality.
  • How to combine polling and other forms of data to pair with stories to disrupt assumptions.
  • How they define success with a qualitative project like story telling.
  • Why public dollars and fear of misspending causes people to be fearful of innovation.
  • How you get people to share their stories and how you get unlikely targets to listen.

Disclaimer!—Alicia gave such good answers that the usual 4 questions were not answered in the first 5 min interview. For the people who really want the scoop, make hot chocolate and take notes for the deep dive interview (27min).

 Alicia gives candid and thought provoking advice on how to travel the health advocacy/policy journey. Tell us how you have used story telling and empathy in health care in the comment section below!

Here are links that Alicia refers to in her interview:





 Colorado Health Access Survey Data

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