WNC Health Advocates offers free volunteer training

Here’s the press release from WNC Health Advocates:

ASHEVILLE – WNC Health Advocates offers free volunteer training for its Patient Pals & Family Friends peer support program 6-9 p.m. Jan. 28, 2014.

The people we serve generally have more than one medical problem, including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, mild to moderate mental illnesses, mild to moderate brain injury, and many are in recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction. Most receive one or more government services such as Medicare or Medicaid, disability, food stamps or rent assistance. All are socially isolated and need companionship and encouragement.

Volunteers are paired with people who need a friend outside the systems in which they find themselves. No single support group addresses their unique problems. Often, people we serve believe none of their caseworkers see the whole person. They need a friend with whom they can talk and share some simple activities such as going out for coffee or visiting a park.

Studies have shown that people who receive one-on-one support improve both emotionally and physically; they comply better with treatment plans and suffer fewer complications.

We do not serve as medical people – we never administer medications. However, our volunteers may accompany their pals to doctors’ appointments to help them remember questions they wanted to ask and to help them remember what the doctor said.

Our training includes information on active listening, family dynamics, grief, stress, conflict resolution and medical confidentiality laws.

Training is free, as are all our services. Volunteers are asked to commit to serve at least one hour per week.

To register and for location, call 828-243-6712 or e-mail leslie@wnchealthadvocates.org.

About WNC Health Advocates: We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit health care advocacy and education agency founded in memory of Mike Danforth, who died of colon cancer in 2008 because he did not have access to health care. Our mission is to offer comfort and support to people with illness and disability and their families and to advocate for access to quality health care for all.


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