Peer Support Program
The UNC Health Care Peer Support Program is an initiative to support the Quadruple Aim.
Setting Up Peer Professional Outreach for Recovery after Traumatic events (S.U.P.P.O.R.T.)
The Peer Support Program connects health care professionals with trained peer support volunteers after adverse patient events or events with serious unanticipated patient outcomes.
If healthcare professionals are experiencing caregiver event related trauma and would like peer support, they should contact the Integrated Emotional Support Program Coordinator. The coordinator will in turn contact a peer support volunteer to meet with the individual and provide one to one trained support.
This service is open to all healthcare professionals involved in patient care including, but not limited to, physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, techs, and therapists.
Contacting the Peer Support Program
If you are interested in peer support, please contact Jenny Tauber, the Integrated Emotional Support Coordinator, by phone, pager or email. The coordinator will arrange for a trained peer support volunteer to contact you.
Interested on becoming a Peer Support volunteer? Email Jenny Tauber.
History of the Peer Support Program at UNC
“I believe that the lack of institutionalized support for clinical personnel is one of the greatest failures of medicine today. I want to be involved in correcting this problem.”
– Peer Support Volunteer
In 2014 while leading Root Cause Analysis of serious adverse events, Celeste Mayer became acutely aware of how devastating these events are to not only patients and families but also to nurses, doctors, and other health care personnel involved in patient care.
Celeste Mayer was encouraged to meet with Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody to talk about their shared interest in supporting caregivers. From that meeting a research proposal was created and funding was obtained for a 2015 pilot study of the Peer Support program which included both physicians and nurses. The pilot study was successful and even the participants who declined peer support believed the program was valuable.
Celeste Mayer, PhD, RN
Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH
Jenny Tauber, MHA
Celeste Mayer, PhD, RN
Celeste Mayer, PhD, RN, has been Patient Safety Officer since August 2003. For the 15 years prior to that appointment, she held the position of Clinical Nursing Supervisor I at UNC Hospitals. She has over 25 years experience as a registered nurse. She received her BSN degree in 1980, and earned MS and PhD degrees in Human Factors Psychology from NC State University in 1998 and 2002. She is an active pilot and was trained as an Aviation Accident Investigator at the National Transportation Safety Board Headquarters while employed in the Human Performance division. Dr. Mayer also participated in the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality’s first Patient Safety Improvement Corp where she received additional training in health care adverse event analysis and patient safety principles. In the last 5 years she has directed the administration and analysis of two Patient Safety Culture Surveys, supported adverse event analysis, an online adverse event reporting system, introduction of Just Culture principles and creating a learning culture. She has been instrumental in obtaining and directing funded research on a Targeted Injury Detection System for Adverse Events and TeamSTEPPS training for high risk areas. Dr. Mayer has an adjunct faculty position at the UNC School of Nursing and frequently mentors graduate nursing students on patient safety learning opportunities. She is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH
Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH, is an Associate Professor and Director of the UNC Perinatal Psychiatry Program of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Her current clinical and research efforts are focused primarily on Perinatal Depression. She is currently funded by multiple NIH grants to investigate epidemiologic, genetic, and other biomarker models of postpartum depression (PPD) and has recently worked to establish an international postpartum depression genetics consortium (PACT). In addition, she is investigating novel treatment options for depression in perinatal women. Her funded research also investigates the neuroendocrine (oxytocin, HPA stress axis), genetic and other biological markers of perinatal mood disorders in a cohort of women recruited during pregnancy and followed longitudinally in the postpartum period during lactation. Dr. Meltzer-Brody also studies maternal depression in high-risk groups including adolescent mothers, and mothers of children with neurodevelopmental delays. Dr. Meltzer-Brody has participated in a previous AHRQ systematic evidence-based review of perinatal depression. She has published numerous manuscripts in the field of women’s mental health, currently participates in clinical trials research in women’s mood disorders, and serves as the mental health consultant for the North Carolina Women’s Health Report Card. The Triangle Medical Journal recently selected Dr. Meltzer-Brody as one of the “Top 10 Women in Medicine.” She is also the founder of the Taking Care of Our Own Program, a resource for UNC Health Care employees, and the Associate Chair for Faculty Development.
Jenny Tauber, RN, MHA
Jenny Tauber, RN, MHA, is the Integrated Emotional Support Coordinator at UNC. She completed a BA in English at St. Olaf College and worked as an Editorial Assistant in the Department of Surgery at UNC before returning to school to earn a BSN at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing. While a nursing student, she served as a Kate B. Reynolds extern in addition to working as a nursing assistant in the Jaycee Burn Center. After graduation, she continued to work for UNC Healthcare as an operating room nurse and earned CNOR certification. In 2016 she completed her MHA at the Gillings School of Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill.