A Story of Health - A Multi-media eBook

The Power of Personal Stories

Our multimedia eBook A Story of Health 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. Using the setting of a family reunion as a backdrop, we explore how multiple environments influence our health across the lifespan. We use a case-based learning approach, often used in medical education to maximize learning outcomes.

Image: A Story of Health


Why you should read the eBook

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. Colorful illustrations, graphics and videos enhance each page. 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).

Free Continuing Education for Health Professionals

The eBook provides FREE continuing education offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Each story is accredited separately with information available in the eBook. Register for credits by clicking here.


We invite you to download A Story of Health eBook by chapter (FREE):

  • Sofia’s Story (Health Effects of Wildfires)
  • Sam’s Story (cognitive decline)
  • Stephen’s Story (childhood cancer – leukemia)
  • Reiko and Toshio’s Story (infertility/reproductive health)
  • Brett’s Story (asthma)
  • Amelia’s Story (developmental disabilities)


Note that in order to navigate the eBook as intended, you must download, save, and view the book using Adobe Acrobat Reader. If using a PC, save the eBook by right clicking (for Macs, Control-Click) on the green download button and “Save Target As” a pdf to your computer.

Download Sam's Story (cognitive decline)

(PDF, 23 pages, 7.25 MB)

Sofia’s Story (Health Effects of Wildfires)

Follow Sofia and her family as they learn how to protect themselves from the immediate and longer term health dangers of a wildfire, with a focus on children’s health and prevention strategies.

Download Sam's Story (cognitive decline)

(PDF, 45 pages, 13 MB)

Sam’s Story (cognitive decline)

Meet 72-year-old Sam and his family as they explore the answers to Sam’s apparent cognitive decline after his wife dies. With Sam’s doctors they explore everything from childhood environmental exposures to Sam’s military experience and his current social connections as they ask if his “forgetfulness” is normal or something more serious.

Stephen's Story

Download Stephen's Story (childhood cancer - leukemia

(PDF, 49 pages, 12 MB)

Stephen’s Story (childhood cancer – leukemia)

Explore the many risk factors for leukemia, and the emotional toll this disease takes on families through the story of three-year-old Stephen and his parents.

Download Reiko and Toshio (infertility/reproductive health)

(PDF, 47 pages, 21 MB)

Reiko and Toshio’s Story (infertility/reproductive health)

Follow Reiko and Toshio, a young couple who have been trying to have a child, as they seek answers to their infertility and learn about how to improve their reproductive health.

Download Brett's Story (asthma)

Download Brett's Story (asthma)

(PDF, 38 pages, 8 MB)

Brett’s Story (asthma)

Explore the life of Brett, a nine-year-old who lives in Southern California and is coping with asthma.

Download Amelia's Story (developmental disabilities)

Download Amelia's Story (developmental disabilities)

(PDF, 36 pages, 8 MB)

Amelia’s Story (developmental disabilities)

Join Amelia and her family on their journey of discovery about how the environment they live in is important to their health.

A Story of Health Promotional Flyer PDF
(Download – one page, 2.6 MB)

A Story of Health Poster PDF
(Download – one, 762 KB)

Be the first to learn of new chapter releases! Click here to be informed about the next chapters of A Story of Health.

Tell us what you think about A Story of Health! Click here to provide feedback.

Stay up to date on other new WSPEHSU activities, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here!