University of Nebraska Medical Center

Community Engagement & Storytelling

The University of Nebraska Omaha’s Native American Studies program worked with Native American community leaders, educators and students to assess how prepared our community is to address cancer. This study is helping us develop programs that meet community needs. UNMC’s College of Public Health, in partnership with UNO’s Medical Humanities program, employs the arts to share community-based stories about cancer prevention, treatment and care to support cancer education programming with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of Native American cancer research professionals.

Visit our partnership map to learn about our past and present school partnerships. Email us to learn how to become one of our partner schools.

Project Highlight: A Native Perspective on Cancer

Under the mentorship of Dr. Joyce Solheim, Native American YES interns drew upon their imagination, experiences, and knowledge of cancer learned through the YES Program to create fictional cancer patients. The interns then invented short stories for the characters that portray their cancer risk factors, symptoms, and treatments, as well as how cancer impacts the lives of the patients and the people who love them. 

Thanks to all these interns (Hayli Spellman, Promise Moore-Saufley, Mira Norman, and Carmela Rigatuso) for their contributions to these stories, and additional thanks to Hayli Spellman for illustrating and formatting the stories and for composing questions for the Companion Worksheet

Native American YES interns developed vignettes of fictional cancer patients to explore how cancer impacts the lives of patients and their loved ones.