Ruth has been an Adult Heart Transplant and MCS (VAD) Social Worker since 1996. Her Graduate degree and internship were done at the University of Michigan in the Adult Heart and Lung Transplant Programs. Since then, she has been employed as a heart transplant social worker as well as one of the first VAD social workers. Outside of her clinical role, her interests lie in community building programs for our patient population. The social work team has a monthly support group, a quarterly newsletter, semiannual gatherings in the summer and winter, an annual directory of patients as well as the first transplant Peer Support Program at University of Michigan and one of the first in the country.
The patient experience of organ transplantation may seem singular and unique for a newly diagnosed patient. Incorporating peer to peer support within a transplant program enhances the patient’s learning experience by providing support from a fellow patient who can share their personal journey. This webinar will explore the development of a vibrant peer mentor program at a large transplant center and discuss the infrastructure and peer volunteer support needed to sustain such a program. Two active peer mentors will share their personal experiences and highlight the impact of peer-to-peer support of transplant recipients and living donors across the transplant journey.