peer up! program
In May 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) awarded a Special Innovation Project (SIP) to the Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition (MARC) to determine the effectiveness of peer mentoring among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to determine if peer mentoring could reduce costly and unnecessary hospitalizations through improved self-management.
While research has demonstrated the benefits of peer-to-peer (P2P) support programs for patients with various chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, limited attention has been given to investigating the benefits for patients with ESRD. Guided by the literature-review and environmental-scan findings, the project team developed and implemented a new peer-mentoring program called Peer Up! and was implemented and evaluated at University of Virginia (UVA) Lynchburg Dialysis, March-June, 2015.
The Peer Up! program included mentor training, mentee and mentor pairing, kick-off mixers, ongoing meetings, mentor training boosters, and a final celebration mixer. It was preceded by a social marketing effort, which included a program naming contest and recruitment of patients as mentors and mentees. Due to the overwhelming success of this program, we've developed an online toolkit to assist others who are interested in implementing a Peer Up! program within their facilities. This section of our website is dedicated to the Peer Up! Toolkit, offering free, downloadable tools & resources.