Sherri Barnes, nurse manager at Curry Senior Center, Ms. Johnson, patient, and Dr. Jan Gurley share their stories of hope at the Spring Social Histories event.

Spring Social Histories

School of Nursing

On Tuesday May 7, 2018, the Primary Care Progress chapter at UCSF, with sponsorship from the Associated Students of the School of Nursing (ASSN), UCSF Student Life, and the San Francisco Health Plan (SFHP), hosted Social Histories, a storytelling slam event that invited Bay Area providers and community members to share stories from primary care around the theme “Hope.”

It was held at the Alumni House. The goal for the biannual event was to generate interest and excitement about primary care from people directly involved in the work. The evening was moderated by Dr. Joseph Pace of Tom Waddell Urban Health Clinic.

This Social Histories was particularly unique due to the unique, interprofessional line-up of speakers that graced the stage.

The first half of the event featured three stirring stories.

Dr. Daniel Nam, a dentist and founder of the nonprofit Just Health 510 clinic, shared how he and his team remember to stay hopeful every day as they work to restore the oral and physical health of countless patients.

Rosalind de Lisser, director of UCSF’s Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program, recounted moving tales of what hope means when working with patients experiencing mental illness.

Dr. Kirsten Balano, UCSF School of Pharmacy’s North Bay Program Director, closed out the first half of the event by sharing how she has uncovered new dreams in patients living with HIV for over a decade.

After an intermission break for refreshments, Social Histories had its first ever three-person panel in which Dr. Jan Gurley and Sherri Barnes, the nurse manager at Curry Senior Center, interviewed Ms. Sharon Johnson to hear what hope has meant for her as a longtime patient of the healthcare system.

They also shared how Ms. Johnson’s story inspires them, and clinicians in training, to stay optimistic every day.

Social Histories was attended by over 60 people including students from UCSF’s medical, nursing, pharmacy, and dental school, current providers, and community members.

Attendees were encouraged to write down what “hope is” to them on sticky notes placed on a banner. Dr. Pace read these out loud throughout the night. Allison Nguyen, a second year pharmacy student, said, “When I walked out of Social Histories, I realized how little our schooling means without hope since it is such an important component in healing.

What we can offer as healthcare providers to our patients is the hope that tomorrow will be better than today.”

The evening concluded with a rallying call to remember to maintain hope, however you choose to define it, as we continue in healthcare as patients and providers.