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'My Life, My Story' Initiative At Milwaukee VA Aims To Improve Patient Care Through Storytelling

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Chuck Quirmbach
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The Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center on National Avenue.

As the nation takes time to celebrate the women and men who have served in our armed forces this Veterans Day, a local initiative is working toward better serving the medical needs of this community.

The “My Life, My Story” initiative at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center is asking veterans to share stories they find important with their health care providers. The idea is that by sharing these stories, health care workers can empathize with veterans and better understand their medical needs.

Suma Samudrala is a medical and graduate student at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and she has been spearheading the initiative at the VA. She says this initiative is an important step in getting better care for our nation's veterans. 

"Having an opportunity to learn about them as a whole person you get a chance to learn about their story and really understand different aspects they find meaningful. So I think it really helps us with patient-centered care," she explains. 

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.