A story of health

Resource type
Learning resources
Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU)
Geographic area

The Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) developed A Story of Health, which is grounds the science of health in 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. 

When people get sick or develop a disability, they often ask their health care providers, “How or why did this happen?” In some cases, the answer is obvious. In others, it’s more complicated. A Story of Health explores this question and delves into how our environments interact with our genes to influence health across the lifespan. 

A Story of Health is told through the lives of six fictional characters and their families – Brett, a young boy with asthma; Amelia, a teenager with developmental disabilities; toddler Stephen, recently diagnosed with leukemia; a young couple trying to conceive, Reiko and Toshio; Sam, who is experiencing cognitive decline, and; Sofia, whose family is exposed to the dangers of a wildfire. 

Links to a wide range of additional resources and hundreds of scientific papers enrich each story with information you can use today to promote health and prevent disease. A Story of Health is useful to readers ranging from health professionals to health advocates, from policymakers to those in the health and science media. The eBook offers free continuing education credits through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).