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Stanford Health Care Peer 2 Peer
About the Program
Mission: To broaden health care for patients and families through the unique support and understanding of peer-to-peer mentoring to foster coping skills, promote healthier lives and reduce isolation.
Setting: Health care
People served: Subject to disease criteria; transplant patients; Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer; gynecological-oncology.
Program location: Hospital, Clinic and Community in Stanford CA.
Estimated number served: 39 in 2015 and 52 in 2016
People in the Program
One part-time program coordinator & 50 Mentors in 2016
Recruitment & selection: Recruitment and training of mentors is continuous via social workers, nurses, physicians, and other staff.
Training: Mentors are required to complete the standard hospital volunteer training program via computer, as well as a four hour interactive workshop to develop mentoring skills.
Motivation: To share their experience, to help others manage difficult health care challenges, and to give back to the hospital and the community.
Sustaining the Program
Key strategies: Multi-base support from Social Work, Nursing and Patient Experience; support and Integration as part of the larger hospital wide Patient and Family Partner Program; ongoing Patient and Family advocacy (some of the Patient Advisory Councils have made it a goal).
Critical support: Stanford Health Care Administration, Department of Social Work and Case Management, and the Department of Patient Experience have all committed to sustain this program.
Marketing and communication strategies: Educational presentations to staff and physicians; inclusion in the Volunteer Program Newsletter; a brochure with program information is in development.
Quality control: Utilize a variety of recording forms for data collection; new tool for program evaluation is under development (initial tool was too long).
Challenges and Solutions
Health of the Mentors: As this is a program relying on patients and families with significant health challenges, there are periods when mentors cannot participate. The program coordinator monitors mentor’s health.
Matching difficulties in small programs: The match is based on issues/concerns and whenever possible , on age and gender. Informational updates to mentors: Difficult to reach all constituents- many venues utilized. Recruiting younger mentors in certain areas: Outreach to key staff for assistance. Mentors completing hospital volunteer requirements: Program coordinator ensures HIPPA compliance and provides individual/group assistance; have decreased the number and complexity of volunteer modules.
Mentors with compromised immune systems: We limit in person contact, use phone or e-mail strategies
Clinical areas underutilizing services: Coordinator meets with key staff/patient leaders; utilizes social workers in these areas as champions.
Growth of program: Occurs systematically or individually as people volunteer; constraining factor is funding for the coordinator’s time.
Morgan Gross, LCSW