Enhancing Community Awareness Through Storytelling


Pediatric Urgent Care Immersion

Empathizing and understanding the daily obstacles of families with ill children is difficult. The goal of families with sick children is to make it—day by day, moment by moment.  Niswonger Children’s Hospital, part of the Ballad Health system (formerly Mountain States Health Alliance), wanted to convey their patients’ stories to raise awareness of how Niswonger, and the surrounding Appalachian community, impact the lives of those families on a human level.

Strategic Foundation

  • Ethnography

Deliverables & Tactics

  • Documentary Filmmaking

LIFT used ethnography and storytelling to craft a series of documentary films that could be shared across social media platforms in support of fundraising efforts.


In order to get to tell the story of Niswonger Children’s Hospital and raise money to bring additional sub-specialties to the Eastern Tennessee and Southwest Virginia Region, LIFT utilized ethnographic storytelling methods.

  • Use storytelling to share patient experiences and connect with community members—bringing awareness to the hardships families go through with sick children and raising money to help support Niswonger’s services.
  • Create shareable, impactful content for social media platforms to showcase how Niswonger transforms the lives of those families.
  • Stakeholder Outreach and Engagement (Site Recruitment) 
  • Ethnographic Storytelling

The challenge went beyond fundraising. The challenge was telling a story people cared about and moved them to lean in to the mission and vision of Niswonger Children’s Hospital. More than a place kids go to heal, it is a place that brings hope to the community, and we wanted to convey that message above all else.


LIFT conducted a series of ethnographic interviews as part of an overarching documentary film that delved into the relationship between patients and Niswonger. The film would be broadcasted at an annual golf tournament, which was used to fundraise for the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Foundation.


Thanks to the families that opened up their homes and shared their personal stories, and purposeful and artistic filmmaking, the video helped raise close to $1 million. 

[et_pb_df_gravityform_injector id=”6″ fb_border_color_hover=”#ffffff” input_padding=”10px|10px|10px|10px|false|false” input_margin=”0px|0|0px|0|false|false” input_background_color=”#ffffff” label_margin=”0px|0|0px|0|false|false” title_margin=”0px|0|3%|0|false|false” footer_padding=”0px|0|0|10|false|false” _builder_version=”4.4.2″ title_font=”Montserrat|700||on|||||” title_text_align=”center” title_text_color=”#ffffff” title_font_size=”40px” description_font=”Montserrat|500|||||||” description_text_align=”left” description_text_color=”#ffffff” description_font_size=”18px” label_font=”Montserrat||||||||” label_text_color=”#666666″ input_text_color=”#666666″ input_font_size=”12px” form_button_font=”Montserrat|600|||||||” form_button_font_size=”20px” error_text_font=”Montserrat||||||||” error_text_text_color=”#7bbcd8″ text_orientation=”left” custom_padding=”5%|5%|5%|5%|false|false”][/et_pb_df_gravityform_injector]