Peer supports are quickly becoming a robust strategy for promoting overall health in hospitals and patient centered medical homes across the US. Peers Support Specialists can now serve on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic. This course will train peers, behavioral health, and medical providers in an integrated team-based model to provide valuable relief and assistance to those suffering from chronic pain and opioid addiction in health care settings.
Peer supports has been used in medical settings by the Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center for the past 10 years. Through this process, they are changing the culture of their hospitals to be recovery-oriented by the use of peer supports in various areas of the hospital. This course focuses on the work of the VA with peer supports services, the training used to prepare these peers for the medical services, the tools that are used to implement a whole health model and stories of patient outcomes contributed to peer support services. This course will show how peer support services in the medical setting can improve adherence to treatment recommendations, decrease stigma and labeling of individuals as their diagnosis, increase the quality of living, and improve overall health outcomes. This course will also describe the history of the VA with peers, local and national efforts using peers in a medical setting and showcasing how peers having been instrumental in the opioid epidemic on a local level by supporting individuals with chronic pain.
Physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, care managers/coordinators, administrators, practice managers, mental health professionals (including substance abuse counselors, social workers, psychologists, marriage and family therapists), peer support specialists, intellectual/developmental disability providers and other professionals interested in this subject.
- Describe the development and benefits of using peer support services in the medical home and the current evidenced based models being used in medical settings
- Identify the key whole health outcomes of using peer supports in the medical setting
- Summarize the benefits and health outcomes associated with peer support specialists working with chronic pain and opioid use disorder
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