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TWS Testimonials


 A Story from the Field

Member Experience –

During a July 2005 session, the photonovela being discussed was
1st Week Home with Baby. This discussion focused on depression, anxiety, and the stress of having a new baby at home.

One participant, who was six
months pregnant, identified with many of the issues that were discussed during this session. She did not feel
comfortable discussing her feelings in an open forum, but contacted the facilitator two days later.

The participant explained that she was experiencing a lot of stress, depression, that she had trouble sleeping and had suicidal thoughts.

The facilitator asked for permission to contact Beacon Health Strategies (behavioral health partners for NHPRI members) to arrange an immediate intervention. The facilitator contacted Beacon and served as an interpreter during the initial screening interview.

Beacon assessed the patient and immediately contacted Rhode Island Hospital and arranged for the patient to be transported to the hospital by taxi. Beacon personnel
and the facilitator stayed on the line with the member until her cab arrived.

The member was treated at the hospital and released. As she spoke limited English, the member took the photonovela with her to the hospital to help her explain what she was experiencing. She was prescribed appropriate medication. A family therapist from Beacon met with the member at her home, and enrolled her in the Day Program at Women and Infants Hospital.

Center for Health Care Strategies' Toolkit for Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities: Quality Improvement in Medicaid Managed Care, p. 14

Experiences Using the TWS Method™ and
De Madre A Madre Prenatal Care Photonovels

 "The De Madre A Madre photonovels and the Teach-With-Stories (TWS) Method™ served as a catalyst to reach and engage the Latina Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island members...

We have recognized the value of the personal interaction that TWS supports. The high level of participation and obvious comfort of those participating in the TWS approach was noticeable...

The highly adaptable TWS Method and use of the De Madre A Madre photonovels allowed the NHPRI's professional and lay health educators to connect with the participants based on their cultural and educational needs.

Unlike most experiences in healthcare, the TWS groups were totally driven by the participants allowing them to develop their learning experience. This ability provided the NHPRI staff with a sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction that traditional education has not historically provided."

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island
Beth Marootian, MPH  
Director, Business Development
Michelle Lupoli, RN, MS, CCM
Interim Director, Medical Management

"I have used the Teach-With-Stories Method and photonovels for several years for prenatal education with Latina women.  It was always delightful to see how engaged the participants became with the material, and how the characters in the stories became real to the group.

The discussions were lively and covered a lot of important material.  Participants were more likely to make changes and use something they learned from another group member, and they made a lot of changes -- eating healthier, making a list of questions to ask their doctor at prenatal checkups, quitting drinking, leaving an abusive marriage.
Reading and discussing the photonovels together created a very safe and comfortable environment for group members to freely share their questions and concerns, as well as their knowledge and experience with one another.

The groups also bonded well, and many long lasting friendships and mutual support systems were formed. I think teaching with stories, using photonovels is a deceptively simple, and extremely effective way to create and use teachable moments."

Mary DeCoster, MLS, IBCLC, ICCE, MPH
Durham County Health Department
Research Team Member, Original TWS Study

"I have been very impressed with the results I have seen in the patients attending these classes.  Having taught childbirth classes myself using a traditional childbirth class curriculum, I would like to highly recommend this model…The participants are able to learn the material and feel more confident rather than fearful.  I feel this is a vital part of promoting healthy pregnancies."    

TWS Study-Phase I: Maternity Care Coordinator (MCC) Supervisor, correspondence, 2/19/1999

 "All participants were thrilled with the experience provided by NHPRI. They raved about the facilitators, especially their sincere concern for the participants' well-being. According to these women, the staff’s courtesy, and attention to individual needs as well as education provided makes NHPRI “lo mejor que existe” (the best there is)."        

TWS Study-Phase IV: Draft focus group report, 3/3/2006

Click Original TWS Study for more voices from the women and healthcare professionals participating in the development of the Teach-With-Stories Method.

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