A Story of Health E-Book

Free Continuing Education Credits for Health Professionals

Case-based learning has long been used in medical education. The e-book offers FREE continuing credits offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Each story is accredited separately, with information available in the e-book. See more about registration for credits.


The Power of Personal Stories

For millennia story-telling has been a means for communicating what is most important to us—a means for gleaning knowledge and insight about our relationships to ourselves, our families, our communities and the world in which we live. Our award-winning multimedia e-book, A Story of Health, grounds the science of health in a series of stories of fictional people, their families, and communities to enable readers to explore the risk factors for disease as well as how to prevent disease and promote health and resilience. Using the setting of a family reunion as a backdrop, we explore how multiple environments influence our health across the lifespan.

 Award-winning E-book

SOH_AwardA Story of Health received the 2016 "Excellence in Communications" Award from the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Environmental Health (CDC/NCEH). Since its release in 2015, A Story of Health's online CE course has also garnered significantly more registrants than the next most popular course offered by the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR).

The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UC Berkeley feature article in the Bridges newsletter: CDC honors "A Story of Health Team" with an Excellence in Communication Award.

A Story of Health Postcard

Tell us what you think about A Story of Health!

The introduction and the first three chapters of A Story of Health were published in 2015. These focus on Asthma, Childhood Leukemia and Learning Disabilities. The next chapter on Reproductive Health is expected out in early 2017. See below to download your copy of this award-winning e-book. 

A Story of Health

Download A Story of Health e-Book

To navigate the e-book properly, you must download it and open it with Acrobat Reader. Navigation may not work properly with other readers. Depending on your browser, you may need to save the e-book by right-clicking on a PC, or Control-clicking on a Mac, the download link and "Save Target As" a pdf to your computer. Then open the downloaded file.


A Story of Health developers, in ongoing collaboration on new stories:

Download the poster presented at the 2016 NIEHS Fest, Using storytelling to translate science for health promotion, disease prevention. (one-page PDF, 5 MB)

SOH poster 2016


New! A Story of Health: Sophia's Story (Health Effects of Wildfires)


23 Pages, 7.25 MB

A Story of Health: Sam's Story (cognitive decline)


45 pages, 13 MB

A Story of Health: Reiko & Toshio's Story (Infertility)


47 pages, 23 MB

A Story of Health: Brett's Story

Updated! A Story of Health: Brett's Story (Asthma)


38 pages, 8 MB

A Story of Health: Stephen's Story (Childhood Leukemia)

Updated! A Story of Health: Stephen's Story (Childhood Leukemia)


49 pages, 12 MB

A Story of Health: Amelia's Story (Learning Disabilities)

Updated! A Story of Health: Amelia's Story (Learning Disabilities)


56 pages, 16 MB

About the e-Book

A Story of Health is an e-book on how to promote health and prevent disease.

This is an interactive document with multiple chapters featuring prompts for embedded information and links to online resources.

image from A Story of Health

Pop-up graphics and rollover functions reveal key concepts, relevant graphics and links to videos presented by researchers—in-depth information for clinicians.

A Story of Health is written by health experts with content relevant to a wide audience, from clinicians to health advocates to policy makers.

image from A Story of Health

The stories are accessible to an educated lay audience with more technical sections for scientists and medical professionals who can access free continuing education credits through the e-book.

Our goal: Improve the health of individuals, families, communities and patients.


What colleagues are saying about this resource:

A Story of Health is superb and fun to use. This is a fantastic resource. It is compelling, educational and engaging, and will absolutely make a difference. I will recommend it to friends, colleagues, medical students and residents.
- Brian Linde, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, California

Brilliant!!!! The focus on a family and on each of their health challenges weaving in the environmental factors is masterful and I believe very effective. It is a wonderful format—and very cleverly done with a compelling story and interactive elements.
- Leslie Rubin, MD, Co‐director, Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, Emory University; Medical Director, Developmental Pediatrics Specialists; Research Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Morehouse School of Medicine

A Story of Health is the most engaging and compelling environmental health resource I've experienced. I recommend it for all who care about our planet and the impact we have on its health—and vice versa.
- Lawrence Rosen, MD, Founder, The Whole Child Center

This will be extremely helpful to a lot of constituencies.
- David Bellinger, PhD, Professor in the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health; Professor of Neurology, Children's Hospital Boston

This is a really important and novel effort to communicate these health issues linking individual health to population health. I am impressed at this effort to provide the story of asthma and other environmentally related diseases in this integrated context. I think it will be particularly useful for public health and medical trainees new to the field.
- Catherine Karr, MD, PhD, MS, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Associate Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Adjunct Associate Professor, Epidemiology, Director of the NW Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, University of Washington

factors impacting healthEnvironmental factors are sometimes overlooked in discussions over cancer, asthma, developmental disabilities and other health challenges affecting children. A Story of Health is expanding the conversation.
- Dan Fagin, American journalist and 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner

This is a really innovative addition to the existing textbooks on children's environmental health and could truly generate in depth learning on this complex issue. The chapter on leukemia brings together in a really cohesive way the multiple risk factors that come into play in the etiology of childhood cancer. The case based approach is particularly engaging for diverse audiences. Kudos!
- Maida P. Galvez, MD, Associate Professor Preventive Medicine, Associate Professor Pediatrics, Mount Sinai Hospital

view of A Story of Health pageWe have tremendous amounts of knowledge and experience that demonstrates the impact of environmental contaminants on health and what preventive measures to take. The challenge is making this information accessible and actionable. The newly released A Story of Health does a brilliant job of connecting the dots by weaving together an individual's health issues with the supporting science. The story is accessible through pictures, graphs, text, references, and by testimony from experts that do not lose sight of the impact on the individual and the community.
- Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DAB, Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders (INND)

This is a significant achievement and contribution to the environmental health field. Clearly you and your colleagues have put an enormous amount of work into producing a comprehensive, engaging and extremely high quality resource. I think you strike a great balance of general overview of main topics combined with links that provide greater detail if the reader is interested. The content seems useful on a practical level for parents and community advocates, as well as for health professionals. This is a great and innovative way to present this information. Both the interactive, e‐book format and the use of a personal story that is character‐driven are very accessible and engaging.
- Maureen Swanson, Healthy Children Project Director, Learning Disabilities Association of America

The focus of A Story of Health on the many contributors to asthma, and the importance of a multi‐pronged approach to prevention and management, is  wonderful. You have done a fabulous job getting at just the right amount of content.
- Madeleine Scammell, DSc, Assistant Professor Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health

We think the content is excellent. It is well grounded in up to date science and presents an evidence based discussion. We think providers will find it useful for continuing education and think it is generally accessible to the public. This is a very good educational experience and providers will appreciate its quality.
- Christopher H. Vlasses, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and Myles B. Abbott, MD, Pediatrician, East Bay Pediatrics

ways we engage with our environmentsThis will be an excellent resource for families and general pediatricians.
- Joshua D. Schiffman, MD, Pediatric Oncologist, Huntsman Cancer Hospital

A Story of Health covers an enormous amount of material in a very innovative way.
- Polly Hoppin, ScD, Research Professor, Program Director, Work Environment, Environmental Health Program, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

The content is meaningful, and highlights the main theories behinds causes of childhood leukemia. I like the links to appropriate informative websites.
- Joseph L. Weimels, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Cancer Epidemiology, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar in Clinical Research


*Header Image: A Story of Health is based on a fictional family gathering.