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Lise Saffran

16: June 2015

Lise Saffran, MPH, MFA is Director of the Master of Public Health Program at the University of Missouri, Columbia. A graduate of the UNC School of Public Health (The Gillings School), her interests include narrative in public health advocacy and ethics in study abroad. Recent publications and presentations on storytelling in public health include Only Connect: the case for public health humanities (Medical Humanities, May 2014) and the workshops What Pauline Doesn’t Know: promoting cultural competence in guided fiction writing at Health Humanities: The Next Decade (Pedagogies, Practices, Politics) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and The Story of the Street Corner: Public Health Storytelling for ministry and NGO health workers in Togo, West Africa at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Lomé. Ms. Saffran’s essays and stories have appeared in literary and academic journals, including a recent commentary on best practices in health-related study abroad in Academic Medicine. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction and a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Hedgebrook Community of Writers. Her novel, JUNO’S DAUGHTERS, was published in 2011 by Penguin/Plume and her stories and personal essays have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Puerto del Sol, Poets and Writers Magazine, Crab Orchard Review and the Granta Anthology FAMILY WANTED.


On the MU Campus, Lise is involved in an interdisciplinary effort to expand faculty research and engagement—and student learning—in digital storytelling in health. These efforts include Master of Public Health collaboration with a new undergraduate degree in digital storytelling, an upcoming national symposium on Digital Storytelling in Health hosted by MU and the development of a new course in Digital Storytelling for Public Health and Policy as an elective for Master of Public Health students.