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A new collaborative project aims to use oral history to better understand how NC residents think about their health. (CREDIT SOUTHERN ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM / CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH)

WUNC’s Frank Stasio talked with Dr. Ross Simpson, cardiologist and professor of medicine, and Rachel Seidman, director of the Southern Oral History Program and adjunct assistant professor of history and women’s and gender studies at UNC-Chapel Hill about their collaborative project ‘Sudden.’

Simpson talked about his partnership with the Southern Oral History Program that aims to bring the methods of oral history interviews to the field of healthcare.

Dr. Ross SimpsonSimpson has spent many years studying premature sudden death, investigating why people between the ages of 18-64 with no pre-existing conditions are dying in North Carolina. The interview recognizes that a lot can be learned about a patient’s body and medical history, but very little is usually known about the person’s day-to-day lives and behavior. Simpson is looking outside the box for answers, working with oral historian Rachel Seidman on the new collaborative research initiative “Stories to Save Lives.” This is a partnership between the Southern Oral History Program and a group of healthcare professionals that brings the methods of oral history interviews to the field of healthcare.

Qualitative data aims to illuminate how North Carolinians think about and act on their health concerns and how they interface with the medical system. The collaboration is recognized as being a bridge for knowledge gaps that could shape future public policy.

Listen to the interview here.