As a gathering place for stories from across Penn Medicine, the Listening Lab affirms and celebrates listening as essential to the work of healing. In amplifying the voices of patients, caregivers, staff, and providers, the Listening Lab embodies the tenets of patient centered care, nurtures a cohesive culture of caregiving, and provides an innovative complement to traditional approaches to medical education and measurement of patient experience. The Penn Medicine Listening Lab is a powerful tool for humanizing health care, addressing inequities in our health care system, and providing a holistic view of the human interactions that define the Penn Medicine experience.

Stories featured in the Listening Lab are widely disseminated across Penn Medicine. They are:

  • Incorporated into New Employee Orientation and Recruitment efforts

  • Integrated into medical school and nursing education/training at Penn

  • Engaged through extensive collaboration with Patient and Family Advisory Councils systemwide

  • Shared during beginning of leadership events, meetings, and staff huddles

  • Highlighted in e-mail communication to all employees, including COVID-19 CEO Updates, PennMedicine Together, and other resilience tools

  • Featured on the Penn Medicine intranet

  • Promoted system-wide through screensavers in all clinical rooms

Hear from our contributors about the impact of sharing a story with the Listening Lab.


The stories featured in this initiative have been recorded through a facilitated process, collaboratively edited, and released with the consent of the storyteller.

Stories featured on this website and other initiatives of the Listening Lab have been selected by a committee composed of patients, caregivers, staff and providers at Penn Medicine. Patient and Guest Relations staff also review stories to insure no complaint has been received.

The following criteria have been developed to ensure transparency, consensus and comfort with the selection process for all:

  • We welcome any story, including those that may be challenging or are still unfolding.

  • We are seeking stories from patients, caregivers, staff, and providers from across Penn Medicine.

  • We are seeking stories about listening and being listened to, especially those that have helped you be more present, compassionate, and empowered.

  • We are seeking stories that can be de-identified of personal information.

  • We recognize and respect that storytelling can reveal vulnerabilities in individuals, relationships and communities.

  • We acknowledge that there is an emotional truth to all stories.

  • We are not seeking stories of complaint or compliment concerning past or current medical care.


This initiative is made possible through the contributions of several institutional partners and individuals. Contact us at share@pennlisteninglab.org to learn more about the different ways you can participate.


The Penn Medicine Listening Lab project is sponsored by the Patient Experience Leadership Team (PELT), which is a team of administrative and clinical leaders selected from across the system charged with creating and sustaining service excellence across Penn Medicine. Penn Medicine Academy’s (PMA) Patient Experience team facilitates PELT and acts as the implementation arm for system wide initiatives focused on the Penn Medicine Experience. PMA is the lead partner in the creation and implementation of the Listening Lab Exhibit.

is a non-profit arts and culture organization on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Slought acts as the lead content producer and facilitates all design elements and creative processes for the project.

The Health Ecologies Lab at the University of Pennsylvania is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of students and scholars committed to creating a space for public programming and study about the medical humanities. The lab acts as the lead partner for student contributions, course integration, and university collaboration.


The lab was conceived and is directed by Aaron Levy, PhD, Special Advisor for Health and Humanities Initiatives, Penn Medicine Academy, and Senior Lecturer in English and the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania.


Stephanie Kindt, Senior Consultant, Penn Medicine Experience

Teya Sepinuck, Patient and Family Advisory Council, HUP


Karen Anderson, HUP
Ara Chalian, M.D., CPUP
Alyson Cole, HUP
Susan Crow, LG Health
Joshua Franklin, University of Pennsylvania
Kyle Garrett, LG Health
Geri Karpiscak, PMPH
Stephanie Kindt, CORP
David LaMotte,  PMPH PFAC
Aaron Levy, University of Pennsylvania
Craig Loundas, CORP
Lauren Malecki, GSPP
Jeff Millstein, M.D., RPG
Dinah Schuster, CORP
Melisa Stanton, PPMC
Kaitlin Szaraz, CORP
Teya Sepinuck, HUP PFAC


Graphic design, identity and website by Jonatan Eriksson and TSTO. Programming by Ville Niemi. Exhibition design and planning by Ken Saylor. Photography by Eddy Marenco. Sound design by James Merle Thomas.

Special thanks to the undergraduate students in Aaron Levy's Literature of Care course; Chris Myers and his students in the Design for Understanding course at The University of the Arts, and Mike Avery and his students in the Architecture of Health course at PennDesign.

We also acknowledge the contributions of Jessica Anderson, Fran Barg, Annabel Berney, Isabelle Breier, Alex Chen, Priya Dalmia, Lynn Hur, and Deborah Thomas.

The following entities and individuals coordinated the photographs of intimate moments of listening by patients, caregivers, staff and providers featured in the exhibit:

  • Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Carrey Gerber and Lauren Malecki
  • Princeton Health, Geralyn Karpiscak and Kaitlan Andrew
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Leighann Mazzone and John Flamma
  • Pennsylvania Hospital, Beth Ann Pyle
  • Lancaster General Health, Susan Crow and Rebecca McCarron
  • Access Center, Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania, Tiffany Smith and Sonia Vitullo