Back to All Events

Storytelling Lessons From Health Care

  • University Club 111 Lyon NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503 USA (map)

In the health care industry, it seems the flow of newsworthy stories is constant with everything from changing technology, joint ventures and expansions, new medical equipment and heartwarming patient success stories. Join us as we hear from a panel of experts to learn their best storytelling practices for reaching the communities they serve.

Confirmed panelists include (please check back for further development):

  • Tonita Cheatham, Group Director of Communications, Detroit Medical Center

Tonita Cheatham serves as the Group Director of Communications for the Detroit Medical Center. In this capacity, she is responsible for all system and hospital communications (internal, external), issue management strategy and implementation, executive and reputation communications as well as community engagement and outreach initiatives across DMC's eight hospitals and institutes. Before transitioning to her current role, Tonita served as the director of public relations, marketing and business development for DMC’s Harper University Hospital, Detroit Receiving Hospital and Hutzel Women’s Hospital. Her background comprises an interesting blend of management experiences in television, newspapers, finance, politics, agency and non-profit institutions. Prior to joining the DMC, she served as a communicator with various media (television and newspaper), finance, political and non-profit organizations.  

  • Adam Barr, freelance copywriter

Both directly and through agency partners, Adam Barr has done work for dozens of healthcare clients. In that time, he's been tasked with many types of storytelling—in the form of videos, campaigns, presentations, and more. He's technically a copywriter, but likes to think of himself as a "copythinker"—someone who spends the bulk of his time observing and strategizing before doing the actual writing. See Adam's work at

  • Jen VanSkiver, Chief Communications Officer & Director of External Affairs, North Ottawa Community Health System

Jen VanSkiver is NOCHS' first-ever chief communications officer and director of external affairs, charged with developing growth strategies and strengthening the system's core competencies. NOCHS employs 750 throughout the system: the 81-bed hospital at 1309 Sheldon Road in Grand Haven, the attached Harbor Dunes professional building, nearby Heartwood Lodge with its 8-bed Hospice Care center, an urgent care center downtown, and labs and physical rehabilitation sites throughout the area.

  • Tiffany Aldrich, Director of Communications, Cherry Health

 Tiffany Aldrich is the Director of Communications for Cherry Health - Michigan’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. It is based in Grand Rapids, and serves 19 other sites across West Michigan. Tiffany has over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications, with eight being in the health care industry. In her six years at Cherry Health, Tiffany has spearheaded the re-branding of Cherry Health, created a new website and social media platforms and won awards for her work on a creative campaign to introduce the community to the Affordable Care Act. Cherry Health has been delivering quality, comprehensive health care for underserved communities for more than 30 years -- serving over 70,000 patients each year regardless of income or insurance status.

Please register by April 15.

Earlier Event: April 9
WMPRSA Mock Interview Workshop
Later Event: June 1
Experienced-Based Roundtables