Expanding a Vermont Program that Enlists Parents of Special-Needs Children to Teach Medical Students

Expanding family-centered care principles in medical education

From 2000 to 2003, Parent to Parent of Vermont, a network of support and information for families whose children have a chronic illness or disability, increased its capacity to serve its clients and expanded its education program for medical students and residents.

Key Results: During the course of the grant, project staff:

  • Recruited and trained an additional 39 parents to provide peer support and provided peer matches to 251 families.
  • Increased awareness of Parent to Parent of Vermont through outreach activities that included:
    • Mailings to pediatric practices.
    • Expanding its Web site.
    • Publishing a quarterly newsletter.
    • Placing informational "bookmarks" in 200 public libraries, 38 bookstores and 40 pediatric practices.
  • Held four training sessions for family faculty and added 24 new family faculty.
  • Secured funding to establish a Family Faculty Institute and to pay stipends to all family faculty who teach in the medical school.
  • Helped to revise the medical school curriculum, in collaboration with the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics, to better integrate ethics, epidemiology and genetics and a family-centered care philosophy across the four years.