Heart to Heart Peer Mentors

The ACHA Heart to Heart Peer Support Program connects ACHD patient and family members with trained peers who provide support, guidance and resources.

ACHA’s individual support program offers members of ACHA and their family the opportunity to connect one-on-one with other CHD patients or family members in a positive, supportive way. While each person’s experience with congenital heart disease (CHD) is unique, many patients find it helpful to talk to someone who has been or is currently in a similar medical situation.

Common reasons our members reach out for support from a Heart to Heart Peer Mentor include:

Transition to ACHD Care                                               Recently Diagnosed with CHD

Upcoming Surgery or Procedure                                Disability, Insurance & Access to Care

Change in Health Status                                                Pregnancy, Surrogacy & Adoption

After completing a support request form, in order to personalize each match, all members will talk with the program coordinator via telephone or email to determine his/her specific needs. Following this discussion, the member will be matched with the Peer Mentor who most closely meets those needs. Communication between member and Peer Mentor is conducted via email and telephone. Our Heart to Heart Peer Mentors work with each member to set goals for their match, connect them with valuable resources, share their experience and provide guidance. Matches are three months in length and focus on member education, self-advocacy and empowerment.

If you think you might benefit by being matched with an Peer Mentor, please click here for a support request application.

More Information About the Program

The Heart to Heart Peer Support Program provides patients and family members with the unique opportunity to give back to the congenital heart disease (CHD) community through providing one-on-one peer support to members through one-time and ongoing conversations via phone and email.

Peer Mentors are chosen after a comprehensive application and interview process including submitting an application with three references (for patient applicants – one of which must be from an ACHD trained medical professional), an interview with the program coordinator and consultant, and an in-person orientation training program. Applicants must be an ACHA member with 3-6 months of volunteer service with the organization.

Currently, the program is comprised of over 60 Peer Mentors from nearly 30 states. The program accepts new applicants and holds trainings based on the needs of the program, which are assessed on a yearly basis. For 2019, the Heart to Heart Peer Support Program will not be accepting new applicants. Please continue to visit our website for future updates and click here to see our other volunteer opportunities.

 

Meet our Peer Mentors

 

Heart to Heart Peer Support Program Team

Membership & Volunteer Coordinator, ACHA
Misty Sharpe

Program & Mental Health Consultant
Tracy Livecchi, LCSW

 

Find out more

For additional information on the Heart to Heart Peer Support Program, please email msharpe@achaheart.org.