Utah StoryCorps - Hope and Healing

Wednesdays at 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Thursdays at 7:42 and 8:42 a.m.

StoryCorps founder David Isay traveled to Utah where he met with healthcare providers, clinicians and caretakers to explain why storytelling can be a source of hope and healing.  In partnership with Intermountain Healthcare, Utah Public Radio is bringing these storytelling conversations to you, centered around the healthcare industry. The conversations in these segments are unique to Utah. 

Support for programming on Utah Public Radio comes from Intermountain Healthcare, a Utah-based not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, 2,500 employed doctors and advanced practice providers, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada.

Hope And Healing: Communicating With Families After A Loved One Dies

Feb 27, 2020
Intermountain Healthcare

For emergency medicine doctors Adam Balls, MD, and Christopher Anderson, MD, medical school didn’t provide a lot of training on communicating to families after a loved one dies. But taking time to acknowledge and honor the life of the deceased—even briefly—has helped them process the experience better and have more empathy for those left behind.

Hope And Healing: Lightening Burdens

Feb 24, 2020
Intermountain Healthcare

Holly Moss-Rosen found herself taking her son, Alex, for leukemia treatments at a Utah hospital where she also works and cares for children with the disease. Colleague Kiley Patáno found little ways to make this family’s burden a little lighter.

Hope And Healing: Giving Back After Healing

Jan 30, 2020
Intermountain Healthcare

Bucked off her horse and lying in a dry creek bed, Marie Zaphiropoulos found herself with serious injuries to her forehead, ribs, and back. Marie recalls being greeted at a rural Utah hospital’s emergency department by a kind woman who went to work caring for Marie – even washing her hair. This sparked a desire inside Marie to give back to the hospital that took such good care of her.

Hope And Healing: Triathalons After Heart Surgery

Jan 30, 2020
Intermountain Healthcare

Exercise physiologist Tiffany Gust’s mantra, “Play big—because you can and because you're worth it,” is reflected in her passion for triathlons and even a full-distance ironman. Then Tiffany had a series of mini-strokes and learned she had a hole in her heart. She was devastated, but came back strong, continuing her commitment to fitness and to inspiring others. Tiffany says to fellow caregiver Christy Lawson, “I know you would like to do a triathlon, and I would love to help you reach that goal.”

Hope And Healing: Breast Cancer Early Detection

Jan 20, 2020
Intermountain Healthcare

Yasmen Simonian has always used her voice for good, and going through breast cancer and a mastectomy helped her magnify that voice. In a conversation with radiologist Dr. Brett Parkinson, she explains she’s no longer afraid to do things—and how beating breast cancer has given her the liberty to be an advocate of early detection.

Hope And Healing: Heart Health And Diabeties

Jan 9, 2020
Intermountain Healthcare

After being diagnosed as pre-diabetic, Jay Whatcott knew he needed to make changes, but he didn’t know where or how to start. He joined the100-day Heart Challenge at a Utah hospital, where he learned to exercise and eat healthy.

Hope and Healing: Colleagues Discuss Immigration, Connecting With Patients

Jan 9, 2020
Intermountain Healthcare

When Hernando Manrique came to Utah from Colombia, he didn’t know what to expect. But he found his way by continuing to drink his Colombian coffee, sharing his passion for soccer—ultimately meeting his wife through soccer—and using his roots to connect with Hispanic patients in his job as a security officer at a Utah hospital. Here, he shares his story with colleague Abram Jones.

Hope and Healing: Sharing A Birth Mother

Jan 9, 2020
Intermountain Healthcare


Kara Mortensen and Cheryl Satterthwaite, who live just miles apart in northern Utah, discovered that the children they adopted have the same birth mother. The children, Eli and AleyahJai, now enjoy regular outings together and their parents are excited to have their children share beautiful journeys as they grow up.

Hope And Healing: Husband And Wife Medical Doctors Reflect On Life, Career

Dec 20, 2019
Two doctors standing together in a hospital lobby.
Intermountain Healthcare

During medical school and early on in their careers, husband and wife medical doctors, Sumaira Arain and Suleman Iqbal would go up to 48 hours without seeing one another.

Hope And Healing: When A Child Dies Of Congenital Heart Disease

Dec 11, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Congenital heart disease kills more kids than all childhood cancers combined. Nola Spicer and Nicura Thompson know this first-hand. 

Hope And Healing: Law Enforcement And Post-Traumatic Stress

Dec 4, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Mike Bleak has served as commissioner in Iron County, Utah since 2016. He previously worked in public safety for more than two decades, most recently as a detective with the Cedar City Police Department. Here, Mike and his wife Amy talk about “the choking game,” a topic Mike is passionate about preventing and speaks about close to home, across the United States, and abroad. Mike is also open and candid about experiencing post-traumatic stress from his career in law enforcement.

Hope and Healing: People, Healing, And Improving Healthcare

Nov 27, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Marc Harrison and Katy Welkie, two healthcare leaders, first worked together at a Utah hospital in the 1990s, when Dr. Harrison was completing a pediatric intensive care fellowship and Katy worked as a nursing director. The two shared — and continue to share — a passion for people, healing, and improving healthcare. "If the world is going to be cruel at times, I want to be part of something that tries to be the counterbalance to that."

Hope And Healing: Siblings And Careers

Nov 20, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Siblings Kory Woodbury, MD, and Cyndi Gilbert have both excelled in their careers. Cyndi became a lawyer as a means to an end, while Kory followed his passion to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. While they reflect on the others’ career path, they acknowledge that each has made the world a better place.

Hope And Healing: Life After A Coma

Nov 13, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

With their daughter, Marjorie, in a coma with a traumatic brain injury following a car accident, George and Melisa Medina heard words from the neurologist that no parent wants to hear: “Your daughter may never be herself again." But with physical therapy three times a day and some serious grit and determination, Marjorie learned to walk and feed herself again—and even returned to the softball field she loves.

Hope And Healing: Medic In The Military

Nov 7, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Adam Ellington knew as a child that he wanted to serve as a medic in the military, and he joined the Army at age 17. Today, Adam is a major with the U.S. Army Reserves 807th Medical Command Deployment Support, and also works full-time as a hospital quality and safety manager. Here, Adam talks with colleague Joel Thomas about his passion for his work as a medic and his service as a pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hope And Healing: The Ups And Downs Of Getting To Know The Medical Field At Such A Young Age

Oct 31, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Siblings Maylee and Alex Homer have spent a significant portion of their childhood in a healthcare setting. Maylee has grown up with lung disease and Alex was born with half a heart and has had a heart transplant. They discuss the ups and downs of being in the hospital for extended periods, learning to trust doctors, and making friends with other patients.

Hope And Healing: Evolving Into A Resilient Citizen

Oct 23, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

It’s been 20 years since Val Guerra became a U.S. citizen. Since then, she’s helped her husband, mom, and step dad all become citizens. From her first step off the plane from Guatemala as a timid school girl, to learning to skydive and becoming a grandmother, Val and longtime friend, Terri Draper, reflect on how she’s evolved since coming here.

Hope And Healing: Approaching Death With Empathy

Oct 21, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

For emergency medicine Drs. Adam Balls and Christopher Anderson, medical school didn’t provide a lot of training  on communicating to families after a loved one dies. But taking time to acknowledge and honor the life of the deceased, even briefly, has helped them process the experience better and have more empathy toward those left behind. 

Hope And Healing: Dealing With Difficult Patients Leads To Sweet Experiences

Oct 9, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

When a grumpy, 25-year-old jaw and throat cancer patient came in, nurse Sarah Larsen and her team made it their mission to be extra nice to him. After a few days, the patient opened up about the challenges he was going through.

Sarah and fellow nurse Jennie Wilder discuss how they make a difference to difficult patients by trying to relate to them, regardless of their attitude.

Hope And Healing: The Life Of A Hospital Therapy Dog

Oct 2, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Patrick has spent the last eight years as a certified therapy dog. He helps patients feel calm and at ease during their hospital stay. But his owners, Katie and Bob Elder, got their biggest surprise when an ICU doctor – after a long, stressful day – asked if Patrick could come visit to help her calm down from the day. She pulled Patrick in and just held onto him.

Hope And Healing: 'I Just Did What You Should Do'

Sep 25, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

While driving home from her job at a Utah hospital just after midnight in March 2018, Stephanie Dickey saw a car burning on the side of the road. She stopped and helped pull the driver out of the car, amid the flames. Here, she talks with her sister, Kiirsten Meng, about that night. "I don't consider myself a hero. I just did what you should do."

Hope And Healing: Reminiscing About Small-Hospital Life

Sep 18, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Over several decades serving as family medicine doctors, Drs. Steven Van Norman and Craig Booth have seen St. George, Utah grow from a sleepy town with a small hospital to one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the nation. “I do miss the small hospital,” says Dr. Booth, “We’d go in on Tuesdays to do surgery, and there would be a beautiful lemon-cream pie waiting for us."

Hope And Healing: Overcoming Pain And Helping Others

Sep 11, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Retired Army Sergeant Josh Hansen and his wife, Melissa, help veterans struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide to heal and live fuller lives. Josh considered suicide himself as he was recovering at home following eight direct hits from IEDs in Iraq. Melissa was by his side through it all. Josh found his turning point and regained his health and active lifestyle. He and Melissa now find joy helping other veterans. 

Hope And Healing: A College Education For 'A Better Future'

Sep 4, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Alberto Vasquez—number 10 of 15 children—spent much of his youth working in the farm fields of Idaho and Oregon. His dream and plan for a better future was a college education. Today, with a master’s degree and decades of healthcare leadership experience, Alberto serves not only as a hospital administrator, but as a martial-arts teacher and mentor to pay it forward and inspire kids in his community.

Hope And Healing: Learning Compassion And Empathy From International Medical Care

Aug 28, 2019

A desire to learn compassion and empathy from another culture led emergency medicine doctors Steve Caldwell, MD, and Benjamin Sill, MD, to each spend time providing healthcare in New Zealand. The country has great need for physicians, and they saw this as an opportunity to help. And each doctor and their families came home with an amazing adventure—and life lesson.

Hope And Healing: An Impactful Career Working With Preemies

Aug 22, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Neonatologist Erick Ridout, MD, has helped care for hundreds of preemies needing critical care. His work with other clinicians to reduce needle draws in preemies has significantly improved care and outcomes, while saving millions of dollars. He shares his published research with clinicians across the country. 

Hope And Healing: Finding Peace And Joy With Lobby Music

Aug 14, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Jerry Harrop and Lowell Harrop are brothers who serve as volunteers at a Utah hospital. For many years, they—along with other pianists—have shared their musical talents playing beautiful music on the grand piano in the hospital lobby, bringing peace and joy to hospital patients and guests.

Hope And Healing: Every Day A Gift With A Terminally Ill Child

Aug 7, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Auni, Caitlin and Dallin Naulu's first baby, was diagnosed with a terminal illness—spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Over the next 14 months before Auni passed away, clinicians, family and friends helped Auni live the best life she could. She brought joy and sunshine to all. 

Hope And Healing: The Power Of Empathy In Healthcare

Jul 31, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Surgeon Shane Lewis, MD, finds that listening to patients and learning more about who they are makes his work more effective and more satisfying. He and his wife, Dixie, share memories of one surgery patient, an 80-year-old Vietnam vet, who was worried about his wife at home alone. 

Hope And Healing: Healing After A Traffic Accident

Jul 25, 2019
Intermountain Healthcare

Monica Muncy is still emotional remembering when the car she was riding in hit Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Cade Brenchley's vehicle on a slick road. Cade spent several days in the hospital with broken bones and a torn ACL, and recovered fully.