The UMHS Kidney Transplant Peer Mentor Program had much to celebrate at their annual recognition event held Friday, Dec. 12. Under the direction of Outreach Manager Stacy Brand, the kidney transplant peer mentor program has recruited more than 30 mentors who donated over 400 volunteer hours this year alone.
Kidney Transplant Peer Mentors, both kidney donors and recipients, meet one-on-one with inpatients and participate in rounding and patient education classes. This year, they helped lead transplant expos in Pontiac, Detroit, West Bloomfield, Commerce, Traverse City, Owosso, Grosse Pointe, Harper Woods, and Kalamazoo. The program has also had peer mentors participate in transplant education classes for dialysis providers.
“When I first started as a peer mentor, I wasn’t sure if my brief interactions were making a difference, especially in the patient education class,” said mentor Al Pettengill. “Months later, I saw a newly transplanted patient that I had previously seen in the patient education class. He remembered me and told me that talking to a peer mentor was helpful. I then realized the importance of our role as peer mentors.”
PFCC Advisor and Peer Mentor Cedric Clark won the second annual Laurence C. Kloss Peer Mentor Award. The award is named after Larry Kloss, a kidney donor and the program’s longest serving peer mentor. “This year, we selected a peer mentor who has gone above and beyond in his peer mentor activities,” said Brand. “Of course, it was a very hard decision as many of our peer mentors deserve this recognition.”
New this year, peer mentors helped lead the Personal Action Toward Health (PATH) Program, which is designed to provide skills and tools to help people living with long-term health problems live a healthier life. To learn more about PATH, check out this video.
At the celebration, Brand outlined the program goals for 2015 which included continued growth, an expanded donor peer mentor program, and more research on the benefits of mentoring. To find out how to volunteer for the Kidney Peer Mentor Program, please contact Stacy Brand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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