Peers for Progress e-News                   March 20, 2014
Quality Assurance in Peer Support Programs

From last year’s meeting of the National Peer Support Collaborative Learning Network (NPSCLN), quality assurance emerged as a priority issue. We hope that this month’s program spotlight on Accreditation & Certification in Peer Support will launch a healthy discussion on different approaches to quality assurance for peer support. You can also check out our featured quality assurance resources on the Peers for Progress website.

We want to hear from you!

Peers for Progress is looking for examples of (1) how to provide ongoing supervision, monitoring, and support for peer supporters and (2) tips for rapid quality improvement. Many peer support programs are looking for effective models in these areas and could really benefit from your hands-on experiences. If you have an example to share with the network, please reply


Accreditation & Certification in Peer Support

Accreditation and certification represent different and complementary approaches to quality assurance. While the trend in many states favors certification of individual peer supporters, accreditation of organizations merits serious consideration as a model for quality assurance. This spotlight describes some of the benefits, challenges, and opportunities for accreditation in peer support. [Read More]      

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Program Resources    

Featured Quality Assurance Resources for Peer Specialists and CHWs

This new section on the Peers for Progress website shares some excellent resources on the certification of mental health peer specialists and CHWs. The “Featured Quality Assurance Resources” can be found directly underneath “Featured Training Resources”. [Read More]

A Summary of State CHW Laws

The CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion prepared this fact sheet to summarize the extent to which states have enacted laws addressing CHW infrastructure, professional identity, workforce development, and financing. [Read More]

Advocating and Planning for a Behavioral Health Peer Support Program

For many behavioral health providers, peer support is already an integral part of their service delivery models. However, for providers that don’t have experience developing and running peer support programs, some advocacy may be needed to build organizational support. This guide, developed by the NPSCLN work group on behavioral health, combines organizational advocacy and program planning to prepare you to become a champion for peer support within your organization. [Read More]

The work group also developed these accompanying brochures to help your advocacy efforts.

Brochure for Prospective Clients
Brochure for Prospective Organizations

Approaches and Challenges to Integrating Peer Support and Primary Care Services

The ACA encourages the integration of peer support with primary care as part of comprehensive treatment. However, there is limited documentation on integration pathways that look at the costs and benefits of integration, and address organizational and system challenges.

This issue brief, developed by a NPSCLN work group, highlights common barriers, facilitators, and considerations in integrating peer support and primary care, and showcases how some organizations have done this. [Read More]

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Research Briefs 

Patient-Centered CHW Intervention to Improve Post-Hospital Outcomes: A Randomized Clinical Trial

This RCT evaluated the impact of a tailored CHW intervention on post-hospital outcomes among low-SES patients at two urban hospitals. During hospital admission, CHWs worked with patients to create individualized action plans for achieving patients’ stated goals for recovery. The CHWs provided support tailored to patient goals for a minimum of two weeks.

Intervention patients were more likely to obtain timely post-hospital primary care, to report high-quality discharge information, and to show greater improvements in mental health and patient activation. There were no significant differences in physical health, satisfaction with medical care, or medication adherence. Between groups, similar proportions of patients experienced at least one 30-day readmission; however, intervention patients were less likely to have multiple 30-day readmissions. [Full Abstract]

Perceptions of CHWs/Promotoras de Salud in the U.S.-Mexico Border HEART CVD Study

This study reports the findings of a randomized telephone survey conducted in a high-risk urban community environment along the U.S.-Mexico border. In preparation for a community-based CHW/PS intervention called the HEART ecological study, the survey aimed to assess perceptions of CHW/PS, availability and utilization of community resources (recreational and nutrition related) and health behaviors and intentions.

Although awareness and utilization of CHW/PS services were low, respondents expressed positive views of CHW/PS and their value in the healthcare system. Respondents who had previous contact with a CHW/PS reported a significantly more positive perception of the usefulness of CHW/PS, were more likely to see CHW/PS as an important link between providers and patients, and were more likely to ask a CHW/PS for help. [Full Abstract]

Outcomes of a Church-based Diabetes Prevention Program Delivered by Peers: A Feasibility Study

In this feasibility study, thirteen at risk African American adults were recruited to a peer-led diabetes prevention program, which consisted of six education sessions followed by six biweekly telephone support calls. At 20 weeks, sustained improvements were found for physical activity, waist circumference, serum cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fat intake, and HDL. [Full Abstract]

Improving Capacity to Monitor and Support Sustainability of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations

This Open Forum describes the National Survey of Peer-Run Organizations, which was conducted in 2012 to gather information about peer-run organizations and programs, organizational operations, policy perspectives, and service systems. This initial report describes the enumeration and survey methods and the importance of ongoing monitoring of these organizations. [Full Abstract]

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Funding Opportunities 

Family-Centered Self-Management of Chronic Conditions (R21)

Deadline: June 16, 2014
Funds: $275,000 total / 2 years

The purpose of this FOA is to encourage research that seeks to build the science of family-centered self-management (FCSM) in chronic conditions. FCSM recognizes and addresses family needs and preferences, and integrates family members as partners in care while promoting individual self-management. It is intended that FCSM improves health, well-being and quality of life of both individual and family member(s) by strengthening the interdependency and equilibrium of the family, and promoting sustainable health care participation that reduces hospitalization and other types of health care utilization.

Although benefits are associated with FCSM, little is known about which FSCM strategies work most efficiently and for whom, what measures are needed to capture meaningful short and long term outcomes, how FCSM varies across developmental life stages (young to older adult) and what methods are best for disseminating effective FCSM strategies to sustain health and support health care. A coordinated, focused research agenda that addresses these gaps will more fully explicate the health benefits of FCSM and develop a definitive empiric base from which the science can advance. [Read More]

Community Partnerships to Advance Research (R01)

Deadline: June 5, 2014
Funds: Not limited / Max 5 years

The purpose of the funding opportunity is to stimulate researchers to partner with communities using Community Engaged Research (CEnR) methodologies that will enhance relationships leading to better interventions and positive health outcomes. This funding opportunity announcement addresses the need for researchers to partner with communities using CEnR methodologies that will enhance relationships leading to better interventions and positive health outcomes. [Read More]

Targeted Basic Behavioral and Social Science and Intervention Development for HIV Prevention and Care (R01)

Deadline: May 7, 2014
Funds: Not limited / Max 5 years

The goal of this FOA is to provide a global outline of areas for innovative, targeted basic behavioral and social science research and intervention development research to reduce the number of new HIV infections and improve the overall health of those living with HIV and encourage research grant applications in these areas. This FOA encourages research designed to (a) conduct basic behavioral and social science research that is needed to advance the development of HIV prevention and care interventions, (b) translate and operationalize the findings from these basic studies to develop interventions and assess their feasibility and (c) conduct tests of the efficacy of HIV prevention and care interventions. [Read More]

Behavioral Interventions to Address Multiple Chronic Health Conditions in Primary Care (R01)

Deadline: June 5, 2014
Funds: Not limited / Max 5 years

This FOA seeks applications that propose to use a common conceptual model to develop behavioral interventions to modify health behaviors and improve health outcomes in patients with comorbid chronic diseases and health conditions. Specifically, this FOA will support research in primary care that uses a multi-disease care management approach to behavioral interventions with high potential impact to improve patient-level health outcomes for individuals with three or more chronic health conditions.

The proposed approach must modify behaviors using a common approach rather than administering a distinct intervention for each targeted behavior and/or condition. Diseases and health conditions can include, but are not limited to: mental health disorders (e.g., depression), diabetes, smoking, obesity, chronic pain, alcohol and substance abuse and dependence, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, cancer and hypertension. [Read More]

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Program Resources

Research Briefs

Funding Opportunities

Meetings and Events

  Please forward this e-newsletter to an interested colleague 

Accreditation & Certification in Peer Support

Featured Quality Assurance Resources


37th Annual Rural Health Conference (April 22-25 in Las Vegas, NV)

35th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (April 23-26 in Philadelphia, PA)

4th International Conference on Families with Parental Mental Health Challenges (April 25-27 in Berkeley, CA)

1st National Conference on Peer Support (April 30 – May 2 in Halifax, Canada)

National Council for Behavioral Health Conference ’14 (May 5-7 in National Harbor, MD)

5th Annual Patient Navigator/Community Health Worker Conference (May 8 in Norwood, MA)

NACHC National Farmworkers Health Conference (May 14-16 in Delray Beach, FL)


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