Storytelling for Community Health Centers From Across the Country: A CVS Health Foundation Opportunity
How many life-changing projects initiated by Community Health Centers are happening across the country, yet the public knows nothing about them? Countless. We often forget to tell our own stories, an unfortunate and missed opportunity.
One incredible project involving five community health centers is CVS Health’s Health Zones Initiative. The idea? Target five zip codes in the United States and see what a coordinated effort between public and private entities could do to make an impact and improve lives.
This five-year endeavor will address the social determinants of health and improve overall health outcomes by focusing on the areas of Housing, Education, Access to Food, Labor and Workforce, Transportation, and Health Care. And who better to engage with CVS Health in this initiative than health centers?
Who Answered the Call
When called to participate in partnerships that would “create a best-in-class model that reduces health disparities, promotes and enhances equity and ensures at-risk communities can thrive” the following health centers answered the call:
Sharing Health Center ‘Wins’
Health centers do amazing work to save lives and improve health outcomes but don’t often have the time to tell that story to a wider audience. Sharing health center “wins” through stories that have strong characters, challenging obstacles and satisfying conclusions are more likely to move people to action.
People are more likely to remember a story than a statistic. Knowing how to tell a story in an impactful way and share it across multiple mediums – whether through a blog post, podcast, YouTube, or Instagram – is critical for health centers to continue to get the funding they need to do this work and encourage other partners to join them.
In the fall of 2022, NACHC convened health center staff from the five different regions for a day-and-a-half-long Storytelling Workshop. There they learned from filmmaker Debbie Brodsky, public health specialist and writer Patricia Mecheal, and writer and playwright Alyson Weinberg on everything from defining your audience to finding good characters to repurposing your content.
This hands-on workshop enabled participants to take the skills they’ve learned back to their own teams to effectively tell the story of their CVS Health Zones project and other projects in the future.
Graphic Recordings of the Workshop
“I’m feeling confident. I have more tools to tell the story of my foundation and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with my team.”