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

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.