By Carsten Ramcke, PFCC Advisor and Peer Mentor
The Peer Mentorship concept continues to expand at UMHS. At the time of this writing, seven peer mentor programs have recently been or are in the process of being launched. That should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the program and its success- even the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care has recognized U of M’s recently revamped peer mentor program as one of the top ten in the nation.
Now, thanks in large part to a toolkit developed by the UMHS Peer Mentor Pilot Team, other departments and even other hospitals will have the ability to launch similarly successful programs. The toolkit combines the best practices and lessons learned from all existing peer mentor programs at UMHS and combines them with peer mentor recruitment, training, and program launch templates. The 18-month pilot program, which culminated in November, also resulted in the implementation of a collaborative, system-wide peer training and the successful deployment of 27 new peer mentors. Peers asked to evaluate the new training sessions gave it an excellent rating.
The impact of the toolkit will soon expand beyond the walls of UMHS. PFCC is working with the Office of Technology Transfer to secure copyrights for the material as several hospitals have already requested permission to use the toolkit. In addition, Stacy Brand, Celeste Lee and Melissa Cunningham have been accepted as speakers at the 7th International Conference on Patient- and Family-Centered Care in New York City. Their presentation is titled “Developing UMHS Peer Mentoring Standards and Guidelines for System Wide Program and Developing Online Peer Management Toolkit.”
The national spotlight on the program and the tools responsible for its success is sure to generate more inquiries and requests from other hospitals and departments. And nothing could be more rewarding than to know that the work here at UMHS may soon benefit patients and their families across the country.