Learning Brief

Learning Brief

Telling Your Program's Story

storytelling logoA success story has an unparalleled power to inspire and transform.1 With varying levels of evidence, a success story shows movement in a program’s progress over time, its value, and its impact.2

The purpose of this learning brief is to provide resources that support storytelling in public health. In turn, this will aide health professionals’ understanding of:

The five elements of this framework are based on the plenary session for the Division of MCH Workforce Development Grantee Virtual Meeting (09/26/18), “How to Tell Your Program’s Story to Key Stakeholders,” given by Deborah Klein Walker, Ed.D.

Trainings from the MCH Navigator

View each of the five sections below and corresponding learning opportunities for: 1) Why tell your story, 2) Engaging stakeholders, 3) Communication strategies and other vehicles for telling your story, 4) Case studies/examples of successful stories from the field, and 5) Additional resources.

  • Storytelling as Best Practice. Date Developed: February 1, 2012. Source: American Academy of Pediatrics. Presenter(s): Andy Goodman. Type: Webinar. Level: Introductory. Length: 57 minutes.
  • Raising Community Voices: The Power of Storytelling in Public Health. Date Developed: April 6, 2018. Source: The Center for Public Health Practice and Leadership. Presenter(s): Elizabeth Bayne, MPH, MFA; Andrea Spagat; Lisa Peterson, MPH. Type: Webinar. Level: Introductory. Length: 91 minutes.
  • The MCH Training Program: An Evaluation. National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health. This report describes the role of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Training Program in planning and supporting training designed to produce state, community, university, and professional association leaders who can advocate for children and mothers and continue to effect change that saves lives and enhances health. The report concentrates on MCH Training Program accomplishments in four areas: training students for leadership, developing new fields and providing information and expertise, supporting faculty, and enhancing collaboration.
  • Public Narrative Toolkit. ReThink Health. Telling stories that promote health transformation
  • Impact and value: Telling your program's story. CDC. The purpose of this workbook is to help public health program administrators understand what a “success story” is, why it is important to tell success stories, and how to develop success stories.
  • Mentoring in Our Lives— the Voices of Students and Maternal & Child Health Professionals. National Center for Cultural Competence. An effective use of short video to tell stories and show impact.
  • Storytelling Handbook. Hawaii State Department of Health, Emergency Medical Services & Injury Prevention System Branch.


  1. Hawaii State Department of Health, Emergency Medical Services & Injury Prevention System Branch, Storytelling Handbook. March 2016.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Impact and value: Telling your program's story. 2007.

Telling Your Program's Story: Learning Brief
September 2018
Author: Keisha Watson, Ph.D., MCH Navigator

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.