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 a Peer Mentor, please click here for a support request application.
This program is partially supported by a grant from:
Peer Mentor Role and Responsibilities
The ACHA Heart to Heart Peer Support Program provides patients and family members with the unique opportunity to give back to the CHD community by providing one-on-one peer support to members through ongoing conversations. Communication between members and Peer Mentors are 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, support, self-advocacy, and empowerment. Peer Mentors do not give medical advice, provide mental health services such as counseling, and do not make care recommendations.
Currently, the Heart to Heart Peer Support Program is comprised of 39 Peer Mentors, representing 19 states. The program accepts new applicants and holds trainings based on the need of the program, which are assessed on a yearly basis.
Heart to Heart Peer Support Program Team
Peer Mentor Coordinator
Program & Mental Health Consultant
Tracy Livecchi, LCSW