A Story of Health E-Book

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.

The collaborative, award-winning multimedia e-book, A Story of Health, grounds the science of health in a series of stories to enable readers to explore the risk factors for disease as well as prevention strategies and how to 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.

The introduction and the first three chapters of A Story of Health were published in 2015, and several chapters have since been added or updated. See below to link directly to the latest versions of each chapter, where you can download your copy and find information about registering for continuing education credits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


A Story of Health

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

Updated! Stephen's Story (Childhood Cancer)


49 pages, 12 MB



Updated! Sam's Story (Cognitive Decline)


45 pages, 13 MB



A Story of Health: Brett's Story

Updated! Brett's Story (Asthma)


38 pages, 8 MB


Sofia's Story (Health Effects of Wildfires)


23 Pages, 7.25 MB


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

Amelia's Story (Developmental Disabilities)


56 pages, 16 MB



Reiko & Toshio's Story (Infertility)


47 pages, 23 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.

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.


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.


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

What Colleagues Are Saying

"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

Additional comments

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

Environmental 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

We have tremendous amounts of knowledge and experience that demonstrates the impact of environmental contaminants on health and what preventive measures to take. A Story of Health does a brilliant job of connecting the dots. 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. 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.
- Maureen Swanson, Healthy Children Project Director, Learning Disabilities Association of America

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

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.