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About Pennsylvania Empowered Expert Residents   PEER Members

St. Paul's kicked off the P.E.E.R. project (Pennsylvania’s Empowered Expert Residents) in 2004 with a two-part series of staff trainings held January and February. Eighteen residents, who had signed up to become volunteer "PEERs”, participated in the first and second of five resident training sessions. A second class of PEER training hosts thirteen more volunteers. Collectively, these residents represent each of the four levels of care offered at St. Paul's including The Villas, The Heritage, The Ridgewood and Cottage Colony.

The P.E.E.R. Project is a program designed to train resident advocates to work from inside long-term care organizations with staff and other residents to enhance quality of care and quality of life for their “Peers”. The project was initiated by the Pennsylvania State Ombudsman’s Office through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. Having heard about the voluntary program at an administrative learning session, St. Paul's sought information to be one of the first long-term care organizations to bring it to Western Pennsylvania.
 
Self-resolution and consumer empowerment are themes consistently emphasized. The focus of the program is on preserving and protecting resident rights. P.E.E.R. groups in other facilities have facilitated some creative projects such as participating in staff trainings, developing staff appreciation tools, helping welcome new resident and creating mechanisms for honoring their “peers” who should be honored for their lifetime accomplishments. Anyone with questions regarding the P.E.E.R. program may contact Tammy Lininger, Administrator at (724) 588-7610.
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