OHSU StoryCorps Conversations

photo collage of StoryCorps authors

These recordings are conversations between people who know each other well and share a bond. The subjects of the recordings are varied, but all are linked by a connection to the people and programs at OHSU.

The stories were produced by OHSU and recorded in collaboration with StoryCorps. The national nonprofit’s mission is to:

  • Preserve and share humanity’s stories
  • To build connections between people
  • To create a more just and compassionate world

Featured story

"You just have to find your passion, and you have to go with it."

OHSU physician assistant student Vanessa Landis and her partner, Bryan, talk about Vanessa’s childhood and her journey to the physician assistant program at OHSU.  (March, 2021)

Living with cancer

Xan Harwood-Karlik and Dr. Kevin Billingsley discuss the journey they’ve walked together through Xan’s cancer treatment over the previous four years.  (2020)

"At some level every patient that comes in is a blank slate. But I know they're not."

Beth Duckles sits down with her provider, Dr. Michelle Berlin, to reflect on their shared experience when a medical procedure didn’t go as expected. They discuss an article that Beth wrote about the experience and the importance of providers knowing more about their patients.  (2019)

 “I actually have no memory of the accident”

After a major motorcycle accident in August 2017, Jewell Sutton was taken to OHSU by Life Flight. After months of recovery, Sutton talks with her husband, Gary, and trauma surgeon, Dr. Mitch Sally, about her injuries and the wonderful care she received at OHSU.  (2019)

Deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s Disease

Shannon Anderson, a physician assistant, speaks with Diane Hutchins who shares what it has been like being diagnosed and living with Parkinson's, and the impact her treatment at OHSU has had on her life.  (2018)

Living with a serious chronic condition

Sabrina, diagnosed at 16 with bronchiectasis, describes what it was like dealing with that reality as a teen and also reflects on the positive aspects that she took from it. Deidra Weinert, RN, BSN provides advice for her future.  (2018)

“I have never second-guessed my decision to become a nurse.”

Kira Talo, Carrie Thomas, and Andrea Hardy — nurses from the Center for Women's Health — discuss how nursing has affected their lives.  (2020)

The creation of the Center for Women’s Health

Dr. Michelle Berlin, director of the Center for Women’s Health, and Dr. Renee Edwards, chief medical officer, discuss the creation of the center. They also talk about work being done to elevate the knowledge and treatment of women’s health at OHSU.  (2019)

Summer Equity Research Program

Hernan Chavez was as an intern in the Summer Equity Research Program. He and his mentor, Dr. Shandee Dixon, reflect on their time working together at OHSU and their similar life experiences that led them here.  (2019)

What it’s like to be a nurse in the Emergency Department

Nurse manager Krista McCoy and her friend and fellow nurse Jen Clowers share their experiences caring for patients and families.  (2018)

In recognition of National Nurses Week

Dana Bjarnason, chief nursing officer, talks with Andrea Runde, a nurse on the adult bone marrow transplant unit. They reflect on the essential role  nurses play in the lives of the patients and families.  (2018)

Oncologists’ relationships with their patients

Longtime colleagues Dr. Jennifer Lycette and Dr. Stephen Chandler reflect on their roles as oncologists. They also talk about their appreciation for their relationships with patients and with each other.  (2018)

Keys to a successful working relationship

Windy Stevenson is a pediatrician and Doernbecher’s chief quality officer. Jenn Fox is the pediatric quality manager. They talk about their their relationship as colleagues and friends that began 17 years ago when Fox was a staff nurse and Stevenson a resident.  (2018)

“He’s got this light in him that is amazing. He’s made us more hopeful.”

Jeff and Suzie Snell talk about their son, Micah whose brain developed differently than other children’s. They discuss their hopes and dreams for him, and the positive effect he has on those around him.  (2019)

In recognition of National Cancer Survivors Day

Matt McCallum talks with his wife, Gabi Duarte, about McCallum’s cancer diagnosis and all the people who helped them along the way.  (2019)

Life lessons after a serious injury

A mother and her son, Heather and Bobby Asa, reflect on a life-changing car accident Bobby was involved in at age 16, and the lessons they’ve learned since then.  (2018)

Living with cystic fibrosis

Rebecca Donoho talks with her mom, Holly Harries, about the challenges she faced as a teen with cystic fibrosis and how they affected her perspective on life.  (2018)

“Cherishing every day that I have.”

Josh and his mother April talk about how they have dealt with the emotions surrounding Josh’s cancer experience and what they have learned about others who have stepped up and shown up to support the family.  (2018)

“Your only limitations are the ones you made up in your head.”

Kelly Paine-White, an RN and certified diabetes educator at OHSU, and her daughter, Brenna Prull. reminisce about overcoming the difficulties associated with Brenna’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis at the age of ten and the passions they are pursuing because of it.  (2018)

“I wish I could say thanks to him for saving Peter’s life.”

In 1989, Shelley Schmitz, her husband and her two young sons survived a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Shelley sits down with her youngest son, Scott, a PAS in Center for Women’s Health, to reflect on the events that transpired and the kind actions of a stranger that saved the life of the eldest brother, Peter.  (2018)

The baby was 15 weeks early.”

Kylan and Giselle McKenzie reflect on the 100 days they spent in the OHSU NICU after delivering their daughter, Lucy, 15 weeks early.  (2018)

Living with Parkinson’s Disease

Allison Laurenza speaks to John Laurenza about their life, marriage, family and John being diagnosed with Parkinson's.  (2018)

The power of love and support

Jake Dering speaks to his mother Chellie Dering about life with otopalatodigital syndrome type 2 (OPD), overcoming challenges and remaining positive.  (2017)

Finding a new community at OHSU

Corey Gallet de St. Aurin, a first-year medical student at OHSU, sits down with his roommate, Nicole Ovregaard, to talk about Corey's transition and the process of finding and building a new community in a new place.  (2019)

Transitioning as a new employee

Tobin Cox, an OHSU employee and Transgender Health Program volunteer, sits down with Amy Penkin, the THP supervisor. Cox reflects on their experience as a new employee during a transition they were not ready to talk about at work.  (2018)

“I experienced a surge of well-being as soon as I started being myself.”

Molly Palmer and her wife, Melissa, reflect on Palmer’s transition, the impact it had on her health, and the strength of their love.  (2018)

Oregon’s first heart donor

Bobby Olive Sr. was a heart donor for the first heart transplant performed at OHSU in 1985. Bobby’s sister, Balinda, and her daughter, LaShonti, discuss organ donation and the effect it’s had on their family.  (2019)

“Saying yes to donation amid tragedy”

Susan Dieter-Robinson sits down with Rebecca Simon, the Family Resource Program Coordinator with the Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank. They talk about Dieter-Robinson’s decision to donate the organs of her two daughters after they died in an accident and what that donation means to her family and the families of the recipients.  (2018)

The profound effects of organ donation

Aimee Adelmann and Laura Ellsworth, co-workers at Donate Life Northwest, sat down to discuss their similar life experiences in a conversation made possible by the selfless gifts from others.  (2018)

From a recording in recognition of World Aids Day

Christine Leedy, a patient at OHSU, shares her story about being diagnosed with HIV in the mid-1990s and the impact it’s had on her life.  (2019)
 

“You’re the cure.”

Luis Francisco Torres Barragan talks with his husband, Benjamin Gerritz, about the amazing power of their love for each other and their community.  (2019)

Ideals to live by

Mother and daughter Abbie Assefa, a nurse practitioner, and Maya Kidane reflect on their life experiences including Abbie’s move to the U.S and her assimilation into a new culture; their experiences with racism and finding a path forward.  (2019)

Volunteering at Doernbecher Hospital

Doernbecher volunteer Malcom Asher and child life specialist Peggy Adams discuss the unexpected impact of an early volunteer experience. Malcomb decribes how his volunteer experiences that inspired him to create an art program for hospitalized children.  (2018)

“Its so important to these kids”

Long time hospital Volunteer, Rob Wedlake and OHSU Volunteer Supervisor, Desza Dominguez talk about his experience volunteering at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.  (2018)

Story Share is a collection of stories from members of the OHSU community recorded in an interview style. Thematic and other important elements from the story are then used to create a 25 - 30 minute team or individual exercise tool kit. Story Share is a collaboration between OHSU's Center for Diversity and Inclusion and Patient Experience. The mission of theOHSU Story Share Project is to encourage and nourish the human spirit; to demonstrate resilience, encouragement, and success through the experiences of marginalized members of our community. 

From DACA student to dentist.

Friends and colleagues Dr. Eddie Ramirez and Dr. Alayna Schoblaske talk about Dr. Ramirez’s journey to dental school as a DACA student, including coming to the U.S. at a very young age.  (January, 2021)

Finding guiding lights along the way

Friends and colleagues Dr. Tomás Lazo and Dr. Emily Baird talk about Dr. Lazo's path to medical school and why diversity, equity and inclusion in health care are essential.  (December, 2020)

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